A Swiss delegation yesterday met with Taiwanese representatives of nonprofit organizations and businesses in Taipei to discuss ways to tackle challenges in developing sustainable energy sources, including how to reduce dependence on nuclear power.
The Swiss delegation, led by the Trade Office of Swiss Industries (TOSI) in Taipei, said Switzerland decided to gradually phase out nuclear power following the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster in 2011.
Nuclear power currently provides about 40 percent of Switzerland’s electricity.
The delegation said that the planned nuclear shutdowns would have to be offset by substantial improvements in energy efficiency and the ramping up of renewable energy options — policy goals that also figure prominently on Taiwan’s energy agenda.
TOSI described Switzerland and Taiwan as highly developed, export-oriented and resource-poor economies that are heavily dependent on energy imports and face growing challenges associated with the social acceptance of nuclear power.
As a result, the two nations should consider shifting toward a more sustainable economy as an opportunity for their industries to win greater shares of the growing global clean-technology market, the trade office said.
The hope of the half-day workshop on sustainable energy policies and opportunities for the “cleantech” sector was to get the two nations working together on sustainable energy sources, TOSI said.
“It [the Swiss delegation] shows that there is an interest from the Swiss side in what Taiwan is doing in this field and I think it is also a good opportunity to exchange different information,” TOSI director Jost Feer said at the opening of the workshop.
The topics covered included Switzerland’s energy strategy and Taiwan’s research on sustainable energy.
The workshop was organized by TOSI and the Swiss Federal Office of Energy.
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