Sun, Sep 03, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Nation needs to harness sun’s energy, expert says

PRIVATE PROPERTY:In the 1990s, Malaysia privatized its energy industry, a move some experts think could benefit renewable energy development in Taiwan

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Former Academia Sinica president Lee Yuan-tseh yesterday gives a speech at the Democratic Progressive Party’s second Asia Democracy Forum hosted by the Taiwan Environmental Protection Union in Taipei.

Photo: CNA

The government “must learn to store, transform and share energy from the sun,” former Academia Sinica president Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲) yesterday said at the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) second Asia Democracy Forum hosted by the Taiwan Environmental Protection Union (TEPU) in Taipei.

In a speech titled “Deep Decarbonization of Human Society,” Lee said that the Earth has been “overloaded” due to population expansion and over-consumption of fossil fuels.

“The carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere has reached more than 400 parts per million [ppm], which is too high,” he said, adding it should be reduced to 300ppm “for the next generation to live well.”

“[Global warming] is a global problem in need of a global solution,” Lee told the forum, which included guest speakers from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam and India.

The government’s goal to have 20 percent of the nation’s energy from renewables by 2025 is “not enough,” he said, without providing an optimal ratio.

“It is important, we have to work very hard to become a carbon [emission]-free society,” he said. “The energy from sunshine will eventually be enough.”

“We have to introduce a carbon tax,” Lee said, adding that the tax reform announced on Friday was “not progressive enough.”

Lee, who in 1986 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, now works at the Institute of Atomic and Molecular Sciences at Academia Sinica.

TEPU vice chairman Liu Jyh-jian (劉志堅) said the nation’s energy market is not free, despite an amendment to the Electricity Act (電業法) passed in January.

“Energy development should be severed from the nation’s GDP,” he said.

Malaysia-based Third World Network (TWN) senior researcher Hilary Chiew said the nation had moved toward the privatization of energy supply after blackouts in the 1990s.

Having ratified the Paris Agreement last year, Malaysia pledged to cut 45 percent of its greenhouse emissions by 2030, Chiew said.

A statement issued by TWN in June said US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement “is both irresponsible and unethical,” as the US is the world’s largest historic emitter of greenhouse gas emissions.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top