Sun, Aug 11, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Ma downplays renewable energy in wind-farm visit

LITTLE ENCOURAGEMENT:Ma said renewable energy has limitations and could not replace natural gas and other fuels, but touted his renewable energy track record

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday said Taiwan must continue to use natural gas and other energy resources to meet the nation’s power requirements, saying renewable energy had limitations in a visit to a Penghu County wind farm.

The county established 14 wind power turbines at Jhongtun Village (中屯) and Husi Township (湖西) to generate wind power. State-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) said the two power stations could generate 10,000 watts, accounting for about one-quarter of the island’s energy demand.

Ma yesterday inspected the power station at Jhongtun Village and discussed energy issues with a group of students in a local forum. While lauding the county as the best location to generate wind power in Asia thanks to strong winds in the area, Ma said renewable energy cannot fully replace natural gas and other energy sources.

“Renewable energy has its limitations. Natural gas and other fuels are still necessary to provide baseload power and meet peak demand when the wind is not strong enough,” he told the forum held at Makong High School.

Ma said the development of renewable energy is a global trend, and his administration has aimed to diversify the nation’s energy supply.

The government passed the Renewable Energy Development Act (再生能源發展條例) in 2009 to develop renewable energy, including the establishment of wind power stations and solar power panels around the nation, he said.

Ma’s comments came amid demands for the government to suspend the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Gongliao District (貢寮). Former Democratic Progressive Party chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday reiterated calls for Ma to suspend the construction of the power plant immediately to respond to public demand for a a nuclear-free homeland.

When inspecting the wind power station in Penghu, Ma repeated that building a nuclear-free homeland is a goal of the Basic Environment Act (環境基本法), and that the government is pursuing this goal, while keeping electricity prices at an acceptable level and not disrupting power supplies.

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