Thu, Sep 19, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Green power may save 100 lives a year: group

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Electronics companies use the most power in Taiwan, but if they switched from coal to renewable energy sources, they could save 100 lives every year, Greenpeace Taiwan said yesterday.

As the nation’s semiconductor businesses gathered at the opening of the SEMICON Taiwan exhibition in Taipei, several members of the environmental group held up banners outside the exhibition hall, including one that read: “Make IT Green.”

Over the past 15 years, 51 percent of increased demand for power in Taiwan has come from the electronics industry, Greenpeace Nordic Global Air Pollution Unit senior analyst Lauri Myllyvirta later told a news conference at the organization’s branch office in Taipei.

Nearly 16.2 percent of that increased demand for power came from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), while 35.5 percent came from other electronics companies, he said.

Despite TSMC’s need for power, only 7 percent of its power came from renewable sources, while most of its electricity came from coal-fired power plants, he said.

Compared with other domestic companies, TSMC is relatively enthusiastic about going green, and it is expected to implement bolder measures to fulfill its energy needs from renewable resources instead of fossil fuels, Greenpeace Taiwan said, adding that it would forward the results of its survey to the company.

If local electronics companies got their power from renewable resources, 100 premature deaths associated with air pollution — such as respiratory, cardiovascular and lung cancers — could be avoided thanks to the reduction in air pollutants, it said.

Myllyvirta in April last year also visited Taiwan to urge the government to scrap a project to build the coal-fired Shenao Power Plant in New Taipei City, saying that there was no such thing as “clean coal” as then-premier William Lai (賴清德) claimed.

In October last year, ahead of the nine-in-one elections, Lai withdrew the project.

Last year, 38.8 percent of the nation’s electricity was generated by coal-fired power plants, 38.6 percent by natural gas power plants, 11.4 percent by nuclear power plants, 4.9 percent from renewable resources and the rest from mixed sources, according to data on the Web site of Taiwan Power Co.

The government plans to phase out nuclear power by 2025 and gradually reduce the ratio of coal-fired power.

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