Taiwan, which relies heavily on fossil fuels, is an ideal place for the promotion of renewable energy because of its abundant resources, and Germany's experience might be useful, Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) said yesterday.
The symposium entitled "Energy for the Future" was held yesterday in Taipei with both Taiwanese and German experts taking part.
Before giving a speech at the opening ceremony, Lu took a ride in a German-designed zero-emission vehicle powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Fuel cells have been used on spacecraft for many years to power electrical equipment.
In her speech, Lu said that government and business, should work to make such low-emission vehicles available to the public as soon as possible.
"Most of you must have been surprised by the performance of fuel cell or solar energy displayed outside the conference room," Lu said during her speech. "Such application of energy technologies in the sector of transportation will not only mitigate air pollution, but also lift the dependence on imported oil."
Lu also said that environmentally-friendly industries will receive priority from the government in development funding. To promote environmentally-friendly technology, abundant financial support will be available for carrying out a well-designed scheme and integrating government agencies, business and research organizations.
Lu said that Taiwan, which imports more than 97 percent of its energy needs, faces challenges related to the high price of oil, and moves should be made to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.
"Taiwan fortunately is full of sunshine throughout the year. In addition, the sea, wind and geothermal energy makes the country an ideal place for the use of renewable energy."
In order to form legal bases for the promotion of renewable energy, several laws have been drafted, Lu said.
"The government aims to turn Taiwan into a nuclear-free country. Since 2003, NT$3 billion has been given yearly for renewable energy development. We hope to see applications in our daily life soon," Lu said.
Lu also said that Germany is a good example for Taiwan to emulate because it has used renewable energy for more two decades and its wind power capacity is the best in the world.
The vice president also said that Minister of Economic Affairs Ho Mei-yueh (何美玥), last year visited Germany to discuss environmental issues with German Economics and Labor Minister Wolfgang Clement.
"Both sides reached an agreement to work on future collaboration of energy-related issues, such as increasing energy efficiency and promoting renewable energy," Lu said.
Lu also said that Taiwan is eager to share responsibility for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and the Cabinet has set the stage for a "nuclear-free homeland" policy, which implies that nuclear energy would not be regarded as an alternative for emissions reduction.
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