The government should take more concrete action, including raising electricity prices, to speed up energy transformation, especially as the EU is mulling a carbon border tax, National Taiwan University’s Risk Society and Policy Research Center said yesterday.
The center published a 439-page report titled Taiwan in Transformation: Initiating a Long-term Energy Transition at a forum in Taipei, urging the government, as well as candidates for next year’s presidential election, to take the issue more seriously.
Taiwan’s energy transformation from a “brown economy” to a low-carbon economy has been sluggish, with only 5.65 percent of its total electricity last year generated from renewable sources, including hydropower, center principal investigator Chou Kuei-tien (周桂田) said.
The EU considering imposing a carbon border tax shows that climate change is not merely a disaster, but has also spurred a new market mechanism, Chou said, adding that Taiwanese firms could lose foreign clients if they do not switch to renewable energy sources soon.
Taiwan’s electricity prices last year averaged about NT$2.60 per kilowatt-hour, which does not properly reflect external costs, center postdoctoral researcher Chao Chia-wei (趙家緯) said.
After factoring in the negative effects of air pollution, coal-fired plants absolutely do not provide cost-efficient power as the Chinese National Federation of Industries has claimed, he said.
To reflect the external cost of electricity price, the government should raise the price by 6 percent at its electricity price review next year, and put the energy tax act in the political agenda according to Taiwan's Sustainable Development Goals implementation plan, he added.
Despite the enactment of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act (溫室氣體減量及管理法) in 2015, the nation’s carbon reduction efforts have lagged behind the act’s planned schedule and government agencies have not cooperated well, Chou said.
The Executive Yuan should learn from the UK and Germany and establish an independent board on climate action that can integrate and monitor efforts by government agencies to reduce carbon emissions, he said.
Presidential candidates with foresight should grasp the global energy transformation mantle and propose concrete steps to address the issue, he added.
Individual increases to electricity prices should not exceed 3 percent, while adjustments should be determined by an interagency committee, Minister Without Portfolio Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) said at one of the forum’s sessions.
Coal-fired plants have this year generated 47.6 percent of the nation’s power, while gas-fired plants generated 33.5 percent, nuclear power plants 10.1 percent and renewable energy sources 4.6 percent, he said.
The government aims to increase the contribution by renewable energy sources to 20 percent by 2025, with that of gas-fired units increasing to 50 percent and coal-fired plants falling to 27 percent, while the rest is generated by mixed sources, Kung said.
Work to complete the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮), which was officially mothballed in July 2015, would not be restarted, he added.
Scooter riders should regularly clean their helmets, especially in summer, to prevent dirt and sweat from accumulating and causing scalp problems, such as hair loss and permanent baldness, a dermatologist has warned. Poor hygiene practices by helmet wearers often lead to scalp problems, such as bacterial folliculitis, tinea capitis and seborrheic dermatitis, Lu Pei-hsuan (呂佩璇) at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital said on Aug 31. The first step to maintain good scalp care is proper hair washing, as shampoo residues can easily cause dandruff and itchy scalps, while improper scratching will cause inflammation, Lu said. The best way to wash your hair is to
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Huang’s body was found just outside the bathroom and showed no signs of a struggle, and no alcohol or drugs were found Singer and actor Alien Huang (黃鴻升) was found dead at his home in Taipei’s Beitou District (北投) yesterday. He was 36. Huang was also known by the nickname Xiao Gui (“little ghost”). His body was found when his father went to check on him after being unable to reach him by telephone, and called emergency services to the house at 11am, the Taipei City Police Department said. Huang’s body, which was discovered just outside the bathroom, showed no signs of a physical struggle, and he appeared to have been dead for some time, police said, adding that no drugs or alcohol were
INTIMIDATION: Chinese military maneuvers have mostly led to heightened support for Taiwan’s defense forces, while China appears poised to continue its campaign China’s incessant military activities in and near the Taiwan Strait over the past several months are “greater in meaning than in substance,” and are aimed at polarizing Taiwanese society, a researcher said in a report published on Friday. China has attempted to intimidate Taiwan through military threats, while at the same time calling on Taiwanese and US officials to practice restraint, which is aimed at causing a rift between those who prefer resistance against China and those who prefer peace, said Lee Kuan-cheng (李冠成), a researcher at the Institute for National Defense and Security Research. “China’s goal is to obscure public awareness
CONFIRMED IN PHILIPPINES: The CECC would conduct contact tracing for the migrant workers to determine if they had come into contact with elderly people or children Six Filipinos tested positive for COVID-19 upon returning home from Taiwan, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported a case of imported COVID-19 infection, bringing the number of confirmed cases in Taiwan to 500. Philippine authorities reported four of the cases through the National IHR Focal Point, while the other two were reported by the company that they had worked for in Taiwan. The six — five women and one man — are aged from their 20s to 40s, and worked as in-home care workers, domestic workers, factory workers and sailors in Taiwan, said Minister of Health and