The government yesterday unveiled its plan to promote green energy, with all government vehicles in Taipei switching to E3 ethanol gasoline by September and biofuel expected to be available at all gas stations nationwide by 2011.
"The international community has been under pressure to curb carbon-dioxide emissions since the Kyoto Protocol took effect on Feb. 16, 2005," Minister of Economic Affairs Steve Chen (陳瑞隆) said.
"Although Taiwan is not a member of the UN and not bound by the Kyoto Protocol, we -- as a member of the global community -- cannot afford to isolate ourselves."
The minister made the remarks while addressing a monthly meeting attended by the president and other top government officials at the Presidential Office.
In addition to promoting energy-saving measures and upgrading energy efficiency, Chen said the government would aggressively push the use of renewable energy.
The government has set a goal of boosting deployment of power generated by clean energy to 10 percent of the total by 2010.
Aside from promoting power generated by solar, wind, water, geothermal and biomaterials, Chen said the government hoped to develop hydrogen energy and fuel cell technology.
A total of 428 city buses in Kaohsiung City have been using biodiesel since Jan. 27, Chen said, adding that Chiayi County's public buses were set to join the "green bus" project in the second half of the year.
Starting next month, B1 diesel will be available at gas stations in Taoyuan and Chiayi cities and counties, Chen said.
B1 diesel is a blend of 99 percent ordinary diesel and 1 percent biodiesel.
The government plans to have B1 diesel available at all gas stations nationwide by 2008 and B2 diesel by 2010, Chen said.
The state-owned CPC Corp, Taiwan, is expected to provide E3 ethanol gasoline in select gas stations in Taipei City in line with the ministry's plan to let all government vehicles in Taipei use E3 biofuel on a trial basis.
E3 ethanol gasoline is expected to be available at filling stations across the country by 2011.
E3 ethanol gasoline is composed of 97 percent gasoline and 3 percent ethanol.
The government will offer incentives to encourage motorists to switch to ethanol gasoline, Chen said.
Chen estimated that the global output of the green industry will reach US$665 billion by 2015, with Taiwan accounting for US$20 billion.
Taiwan is a niche supplier in the photoelectricity industry, with total output estimated to grow from NT$21.2 billion (US$642 million) last year to NT$60.8 billion in 2010, Chen said.
The nation also leads in the light emitting diode (LED) industry, ranking first in terms of worldwide volume and second in terms of value, Chen said.
Taiwan's annual production value of solar heating system has reached NT$1.2 billion, with a total of 36 manufacturing firms and 257 installation companies, Chen said.
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