The nation’s electricity sector can only be liberalized if its power generation, transmission and distribution systems are divided into independent entities, experts said at a forum in Taipei yesterday.
The forum was organized by the Japan-Taiwan Electricity Reform Research Society, environmental group Mom Loves Taiwan and the Humanistic Education Foundation.
State-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) should sell and make independent its department that governs power transmission and distribution, Tsuru University professor Hiroshi Takahashi said.
If the systems were governed by independently operated companies, they would seek collaboration with more energy developers and treat them fairly as clients, which is beneficial for the nation’s energy transformation, he said, citing observations from Europe.
The utility might be reluctant to promote the development of renewable power, because it intends to maintain its dominance over traditional power sources such as coal-fired and nuclear power generation, he said.
Independent electricity grids can help stabilize the electricity generated from solar and wind power if it is transmitted to wider areas, he added.
Although the government in January last year passed an amendment to the Electricity Act (電業法), it did not want to promote the sector’s liberalization, given that the change allowed Taipower to continue monopolizing electricity systems until 2025, society chairperson Chen Hong-mei (陳弘美) said.
The nation’s development of renewable energy is sluggish, because energy developers are required to obtain Taipower’s approval to have their power transmitted to its grid, Chen said.
“The Democratic Progressive Party has lost its opportunity to reform the electricity sector,” considering the amendment only catered to the needs of pro-nuclear Taipower, said former Taipower board member Wang Tu-far (王塗發), who is now a professor at National Taipei University’s Department of Economics.
Power grids should be regarded as a part of the nation’s public infrastructure that invites investment from different sources, he said.
The force opposed to energy reform is often stronger than that which supports reform, which is why the electricity sector cannot become truly liberalized, said Kimmie Wang (王京明), researcher at the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research’s Center for Energy and Environmental Research.
The nation’s development of renewable energy has attracted many foreign energy developers, because they do not have to be involved in price-bidding like in Europe, he said.
After signing a 20-year contract with Taipower, developers can sell their electricity to the utility at set prices for two decades, which is why the nation’s electricity is expected to become more expensive in the near future, Wang said.
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,”
SOUTH WINDS: Taiwan’s southeastern region, as well as central and southern regions, would see regional showers and thundershowers, the Central Weather Bureau said Heavy to extremely heavy rainfall in the afternoon in the next two days might cause damage in affected areas, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday, urging people to stay vigilant. With the weakening of a Pacific high-pressure system and with a frontal system in the north moving south, the nation would come under the influence of southwest and south winds today, the bureau said. People in the nation’s southeastern region, as well as in central and southern Taiwan, are likely to experience regional showers or thundershowers, it said. Chances of afternoon thundershowers are high nationwide, and people in some regions