Sat, Jul 11, 2009 - Page 4 News List

Activists criticize Taipower's energy expansion plans

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

A group of activists staged a skit in front of the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) building yesterday, saying state-run Taiwan Power Co's (Taipower, 台電公司) plan to expand the number of coal-fired power plants nationwide would increase the nation's carbon dioxide emissions.

A performer, playing the role of an EPA official, promised a man wearing a President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) mask that he would be able to handle the environmentalists if the government allowed Taipower to continue with its plan.

The activists said Taipower plans to add 15 new coal-fired power plants by 2025, which are expected to generate additional electricity generating capacity of 10.8 million kilowatts and in turn boost carbon dioxide emissions by 60 million tonnes.

They said that Taipower had proposed curbing emissions by adding three new nuclear power stations to its existing three in line with the Ma administration's plan to invest more resources in nuclear power.

While the recently passed Renewable Energy Act (再生能源條例) states that renewable energy infrastructure should generate an additional 6.5 million to 10 million in electricity over the next 20 years, activists said Taipower did not take this into consideration when drafting plans for new facilities.

The skit was targeted at an EPA meeting yesterday, with the agency inviting researchers to review Taipower's proposal.

Former Democratic Progressive Party legislator Wang To-fa (王塗發), now a professor at National Taipei University, asked at the meeting whether the company was overly optimistic in its estimates of economic growth and the nation's energy needs when it drew up its expansion plan.

The suggestions made by the researchers will be forwarded to the EPA's Environment Impact Assessment Committee for deliberation.

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