Experts yesterday gathered at an international forum in Taipei to exchange ideas on combined cooling, heating and power systems to create low-carbon communities.
Organized by the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), the forum was held at National Taiwan University, with specialists on energy supply and market planning management from Denmark sharing their experiences with specialists and academics in Taiwan.
Environmental Protection Administration Minister Stephen Shen (沈世宏) said he visited Denmark last year and learned how the country makes good use of renewable energy sources including waste-to-energy, biomass and wind.
He also said Denmark had found the correct balance between power supply and heating or cooling demand and that its knowledge and experience could answer the energy problems in Taiwan.
Else Bernsen, chief project manager at COWI A/S, an international consulting group for engineering, environmental science and economics in Denmark, said sustainable energy development should be balanced between reliability of supply, economic efficiency and -environmental sustainability.
Bernsen said the energy efficiency of current power plants was low, resulting in much of the heat produced being wasted.
Bernsen said combined heat and power development and a district energy supply system could help reduce carbon emissions and held advantages for households, including requiring less space for heating installations, requiring no gas installation security checks or oil storage tanks, limited maintenance and cheaper heating prices.
The shift in energy systems development in Demark started in the 1970s because of the international energy crisis, Bernsen said, adding that substantial research was required to find the proper approach.
Claus Andreasson, chief operating officer at Burmeister & Wain Enery A/S, said that according to a report by a Taiwanese academic, the energy efficiency of power plants in Taiwan stood at only about 40 percent, meaning that 60 percent of the fuel was wasted.
This also meant that 60 percent of the carbon emissions were polluting the environment for no reason.
Asked how the public could be made to accept higher energy prices for a cleaner environment, Bernsen and Andreasson said the government had to provide incentives, such as the tax on heating oil in Denmark.
“This is for you as citizens to decide,” Andereasson said. “We have decided, and we are voting for the political parties in Denmark that are deciding to actually increase the cost of electricity and the cost of heating.”