An unpublished report by state-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) said that the nation could have a positive electricity reserve margin even without nuclear power plants — an estimate that differs from the previous prediction — which was described as an energy policy U-turn following the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) election victory.
According to a Central News Agency report on Monday, Taipower said it could manage a positive energy reserve margin in the next eight years if the three operating nuclear power plants are decommissioned on schedule and a mothballed plant remains shuttered, which contradicted the company’s energy report last year, which predicted that the reserve margin would be shortfalls of 1.6 percent and 3 percent in 2023 and 2024 in the event of a nuclear power phase-out.
The new estimate was criticized as a U-turn to meet the DPP’s nuclear-free policy — which seeks to eliminate nuclear power generation by 2025 — as the new outlook came just two days after the party clinched a landslide victory in the presidential and legislative elections on Saturday.
Taipower spokesman Hsiao Jin-yi (蕭金益) yesterday confirmed the company’s new estimate without specifying the exact figures of the reserve margin, which he said would be released later.
“The latest correction [of the electricity reserve margin] was not made because of a change in government, but because since last year’s report, the general economic environment and public awareness of energy conservation have changed, while the company has come up with solutions to avoid power shortages,” he said.
The reserve margin went from negative to positive because economic growth has been predicted to slow and energy conservation awareness has been on the rise, so the company adjusted the nation’s power demand downward, Hsiao said.
The development of sources of renewable energy and the expansion and upgrade of facilities at power plants in New Taipei City’s Linkou District (林口), Kaohsiung’s Siaogang District (小港), Miaoli’s Tongsiao Township (通霄) and Taoyuan’s Datan Township (大潭) would boost the reserve margin, he said.
“Taipower would be useless if it had a negative reserve margin and did nothing about it. The adjustment had nothing to do with the elections,” he said.
Although the operating margin went from negative to positive, the risk of power shortages still exists, as the margin remains low, while energy supply would be a pressing issue if nuclear power is phased out, Taipower said.
The three functioning nuclear power plants are to be deactivated in 2019, 2023 and 2025 after each has run for 40 years — the designated service life of each plant, the company said, adding that the three plants generate about 20 percent of the firm’s power.
COSTLY TECH FAILURE: More than 25,000 files for nearly 8,000 students from 81 schools were lost when system administrators updated a server, the Ministry of Education said The academic records of 7,854 high-school students have been lost due to a hard-drive failure, the Ministry of Education said yesterday. The records were being stored at National Chi Nan University, which was commissioned by the ministry’s K-12 Education Administration to host a computer server of student portfolios that universities could access to evaluate their applications. Under a program introduced in 2019 for high-school students starting that year, students are to create portfolios to be used for university applications, which include their grades, extracurricular activities and other information related to their character and achievements. System administrators discovered that files were missing when rebooting
921 EARTHQUAKE: The magnitude 7.3 quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged The Central Weather Bureau yesterday received about 50,000 views on Facebook after it posted the data that it collected on Sept. 21, 1999, when the nation was devastated by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake. The data showed that the 921 Earthquake hit the nation at 1:47am, with the epicenter being 7km southwest of the bureau’s quake detection center in Nantou County’s Yuchi Township (魚池) at a depth of 8km. The quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged, with the cost of the damage estimated at NT$300 billion (US$10.8 billion at the current
CONFUSING RESULTS: A New Taipei City worker tested positive for COVID-19 in a rapid test and a PCR test, but negative in a traditional nucleic acid test, the CECC said Travelers from Bangladesh, Brazil and Peru are no longer required to quarantine at a government center, and from Saturday can choose to quarantine at hotels, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The three nations are no longer considered “key high-risk countries,” as their COVID-19 case numbers have continued to fall, the CECC said, adding that no travelers from these countries have been confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 in the past two months. The revised classification would allow travelers from the three countries to choose where they stay during their mandatory 14-day quarantine, although they would be required to pay
‘TECHNICALITY’: The full moon was at 7:55am, but the Taipei Astronomical Museum said it technically remained a ‘real’ full moon when it rose again at night The Mid-Autumn Festival had a “real” full moon, the first time the astronomical categorization has fallen on the day of the festival since 2013, the Taipei Astronomical Museum said yesterday. The festival, which falls on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar — which this year was yesterday — does not always coincide with an exact full moon, the museum said. A full moon occurs when the Earth is between the sun and the moon — or, more precisely, when the ecliptic longitudes of the sun and the moon differ by 180° — which has a cycle of