The Chinese National Federation of Industries (CNFI, 全國工業總會) yesterday called on the government to reconsider its energy policy, saying that wind and solar energy are not suitable to Taiwan, as they would harm the local ecology.
The development of wind farms has created noise pollution and damaged coastlines, as has happened in Europe and the US, where authorities have opted to dismantle such facilities, CNFI chairman William Wong (王文淵) said on the sidelines of a public event in Taipei.
Wind farms, in particular, would threaten Taiwan’s coastline given the nation’s size, Wong said, adding that nuclear science and engineering professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Jacopo Buongiorno shared the opinion.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
“All energy sources have strengths and weaknesses, and the government should also take the cost burden into consideration when making decisions,” he said, implying support for nuclear energy.
Taiwan is to hold a referendum on Dec. 18 on whether to continue construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮), among other issues.
Wong said that he supports the global effort to cut carbon emissions and promotes policies to achieve that goal.
Dependence on oil imports is not realistic or favorable for Taiwan, where manufacturing plays a key role in driving the economy, at the cost of straining the environment, he said.
Policymakers have proposed introducing an emissions trading scheme or imposing carbon taxes on heavy polluters, such as cement, steel, glass and plastic product makers.
Wong voiced his objection to a suggestion that charges be set at US$10 per tonne of carbon emissions, far higher than Japan’s US$2.61 per tonne and Singapore’s US$3.71 per tonne.
Wong also heads Formosa Plastics Group (台塑集團), the nation’s largest industrial conglomerate, which includes Formosa Plastics Corp (台塑), Nan Ya Plastics Corp (南亞塑膠), Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化) and Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp (台灣化纖).
Taiwanese exporters cannot stay competitive on the world stage if they have to bear heavy carbon taxes, he said.
Wong also pressed the government to gradually lift border controls once it has controlled the COVID-19 outbreak, so cross-border business activity can resume and employees based abroad can return home for family reunions.
There had been zero to few locally transmitted cases in Taiwan in the past few weeks, and the first-dose vaccination rate has surpassed 75 percent, government data showed.
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