President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday the government is aiming to pursue diversity in the nation’s energy supply during an inspection visit to the Chang-Kong Wind Power Station in Changhua County.
During the visit, Ma reiterated his administration’s support for wind energy amid the ongoing dispute over the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Gongliao Dictrict (貢寮).
Accompanied by Minister of Economic Affairs Chang Chia-juch (張家祝) and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers, Ma visited the wind power station and discussed wind energy with business groups at a forum.
The visit was originally scheduled for the day of the fifth anniversary of Ma’s inauguration on May 20, but was delayed due to heavy rain.
Ma said building a nuclear-free homeland is a goal of the Basic Environment Act (環境基本法), and has promised to achieve this goal while keeping electricity prices at an acceptable level and not disrupting power supplies.
As part of reducing the nation’s dependence on nuclear power, Ma said the government is to put greater emphasis on the development of renewable sources of energy, including wind power and solar power.
“Renewable energy has its limitations and the government cannot put all its eggs in the same basket. We must develop different sources of energy, otherwise an energy crisis could result in a serious national security issue,” he said.
Karl-Eugen Feifel, chairman of InfraVest Wind Power, the largest investor in wind power in Taiwan, took the occasion to promote the development of wind power in the nation, and challenged the Ma administration to allow private energy companies to sell electricity directly to consumers as an incentive to attract more private investment.
He complained that the Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) had refused to allow his company to sell its energy to Google Inc, which has established factories in Changbin Industrial Zone, and said the Ma administration should abandon the view that renewable energy can only provide auxiliary supplies of electricity.
Ma said the government pays great attention to the development of wind power, but it cannot ignore opposition from local residents, who are concerned about noise and other impacts from the power station.
“As with all sources of energy, wind power has its advantages and limitations,” Ma said.
“We need different sources of energy regardless of whether the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant is completed. Therefore, the government will focus more efforts on the development of renewable energies,” he added.