Environmentalists staged a protest in front of the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday, calling on Minister of Economic Affairs Chang Chia-juch (張家祝) to step down if he could not stop power rates from rising.
The second stage of a government plan to raise electricity rates is scheduled to take effect in October. Chang has not yielded to lawmakers’ suggestion to postpone the plan.
At a meeting of the legislature’s Economics Committee on Monday, Chang said that the power rate hike in October would save energy and reduce carbon emissions.
He added that about 67 percent of general households and 33 percent of small companies would not be affected by the rate increase.
Kao Cheng-yan (高成炎), a National Taiwan University professor and member of the Taiwan Environmental Protection Union, yesterday said that a representative of a foreign energy company who visited Taiwan in March has said it can sell Taiwan natural gas at a reasonable price.
If Taiwan Power Co accepted the company’s offer, it could lower its power generation cost from natural gas to about NT$3.5 per kilowatt-hour — instead of the company’s claim that it costs NT$5.7 per kilowatt-hour to generate electricity from the same source, Kao said.
Nuclear-Free Homeland Alliance executive director Lee Cho-han (李卓翰) said that nuclear power is the most expensive source of energy, both in terms of economic cost and social cost, but the government tends to overestimate the cost of electricity from natural gas or other renewable energies.
Lee said the government should conduct a thorough investigation of energy waste in the country and enforce energy-saving methods that could reduce total electricity consumption by 39 percent, based on the National Science Council’s National Science and Technology Program on Energy.
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
SAFETY CONCERNS: A construction company working nearby admitted to negligence in the incident, and is to pay a fine and other expenses related to damages Residents of homes adjacent to an alleyway in New Taipei City’s Yonghe District (永和) on Saturday were forced to evacuate their homes after the road collapsed, the New Taipei City government said yesterday. An 80m by 4m area in an alleyway on Wenhua Road (文化路) collapsed at 10:39am near an apartment building construction site where work was being done on the project’s foundation. The incident also ruptured an underground gas pipe and tilted several buildings in the area. Residents would not be able to return to their homes until tomorrow or Wednesday, when repairs are expected to be finished, the city government said. Workers
CHALLENGER DEEP: Lin Ying-Tsong was invited by Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo to join him on a 10-hour long trip in the company’s submersible Taiwanese-American Lin Ying-Tsong (林穎聰) last month became the first person from Asia and the 12th in human history to dive into the deepest part on Earth, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. Lin, 45, an expert in deep sea acoustics with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts, joined US adventurer and Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo, 54, on June 22 in a descent to the central pool of the Challenger Deep, the deepest point of the trench, which lies at a depth of more than 10,900m. The pair made the descent in a submersible named Limiting Factor, a US$37
ARMS RACE: Two DPP lawmakers said that China’s development model differed from Taiwan’s, as it aims to become a global hegemon, while Taiwan seeks to protect itself Taiwanese national defense experts are split on how Taiwan should respond to the ever-growing budget of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), with some advocating for Taiwan to increase defense spending, while others say that little can be done. The Legislative Yuan approved NT$358 billion (US$12.1 billion) for national defense spending across fiscal 2020, a 3.47 percent increase compared with last year, while China’s military budget this year is NT$5.4 trillion, more than 15 times that of Taiwan. Regardless of whether the government adopts a zero-based budgeting method for national defense spending — in which all expenses are justified and approved each