A survey by Carbon Monitoring for Action (CARMA) showed that the Taichung and Mailiao coal-fired power plants ranked No. 1 and No. 5 worldwide in terms of carbon dioxide emissions by power plants respectively, casting a shadow on the government’s energy-saving and carbon-reduction policies.
CARMA said an international monitoring group that tracks carbon emissions at more than 50,000 power plants and 4,000 power companies worldwide said that with emissions of 39.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide last year, Taiwan Power Co’s (Taipower, 台電) coal-fired power plant in Taichung ranked as the most polluting power plant on the entire planet.
In addition, Formosa Plastics Group’s (台塑集團) coal-fired power plant in Mailiao, Yunlin County, moved from No. 6 to No. 5, with 29.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions last year.
The CARMA Web site also gave 23 of Taiwan’s 230 power plants a “red alert” label because of their carbon dioxide emissions.
Over the past year, the Taichung plant has reduced emissions by about 1.3 million tonnes, while the Mailiao plant reduced emissions by 2.1 million tonnes.
Taipower spokeswoman Tu Yueh-yuan (杜悅元) said that as the plant was a massive facility responsible for servicing 20 percent of the nation’s electricity needs, it produces more emissions than smaller power plants.
She said Taipower was considering replacing the generator setups in its power plants to enhance efficiency, which would help reduce emissions.
The Center for Global Development, a Washington-based think tank, said on Tuesday that carbon dioxide emissions from the global power generation sector increased by more than 34 percent in the past eight years, which “does not bode well for international efforts to combat climate change” and shows that “emissions from power generation are racing in the wrong direction.”
In early July, Taipower received conditional approval for an expansion plan for a coal-fired power plant in Taipei County and intends to build a power plant in Changhua County.
CARMA said the 230 power plants in Taiwan generate 218 million megawatt-hours, emitting 137 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in the past year, accounting for almost half of Taiwan’s total annual 278 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
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