Taiwan is lagging behind other countries in terms of generating clean energy and carbon-saving applications, Nobel laureate Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲) said yesterday.
“Compared with other countries, we have not made enough efforts in this aspect,” Lee told reporters when asked to comment on Taiwan’s development of clean energy and carbon-saving practices.
For example, Lee said, Taiwanese usually set their air-conditioner temperature too low in summer, causing power consumption to increase greatly during that season.
He also suggested that the government promote hybrid electric vehicles, which have been widely adopted in Japan as part of efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Lee, who was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, made the remarks on the opening day of the Taiwan Symposium on Carbon Dioxide Capture, Storage and Utilization. The event ends today.
During his keynote speech, Lee said there are now 6.8 billion people on Earth, consuming 1.4 earths’ worth of resources per year.
“We have too many people consuming too many resources. It’s time for us to wake up and accept the fact that our world is over-developed,” Lee said, adding that the world should find alternative ways to develop, such as by utilizing solar power.
Lin Li-fu (林立夫), project manager of the Clean Coal Master Project under the National Science Council, said that Taiwan’s annual carbon dioxide emissions per capita is about 11.5 tonnes, which is roughly the 20th-highest amount per capita in the world.
“Taiwan is inevitably facing growing international pressure to reduce its carbon footprint in the future,” Lin said at the symposium.
Lin suggested that the government work together with Taiwanese companies promote the commercialization of clean energy and invest more in the research of next-generation technology to produce clean energy.
The international symposium is being held in Taipei for the first time. It offers a platform for the sharing of expertise on clean coal-technology development, organizers said.
About 250 academics, experts and government officials from eight countries are participating in the event, which is being organized by the Clean Coal Master Project and the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research.
The organizers hope that the event will help fine-tune Taiwan’s plans for promoting demonstration projects on carbon capture and storage, as well as establishing industry clusters in the field, with the aim of developing and applying the clean coal technology on a larger scale in Taiwan.