This year is critical for climate governance. Some countries have announced amendments to climate-related laws aiming to reach net-zero greenhouse emissions by 2050, while others have mapped out policies to reach that goal.
At present, 240 companies around the world have joined the Climate Group’s global RE100 pledge and committed to sourcing all electricity for their global operations from renewable sources by 2050, including five Taiwanese firms, among which are Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, Grape King Bio Ltd and TCI Co.
The substitution of fossil fuels with renewable energy sources, of which wind energy and solar power play a key role, has been recognized by many around the world as a feasible way to reduce carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050.
Taiwan has in the past few years begun to shift its energy production toward renewable sources, which it hopes would contribute 20 percent of its total electricity generation by 2025, including 20 gigawatts (GW) of solar photovoltaic and 5.5GW of offshore wind energy.
Under the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ “zonal development” policy for offshore wind, 1GW capacity is to be added every year after 2025, for 10 years.
As more offshore areas are to be auctioned off for development, Danish firm Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners K/S (CIP) last week announced six proposed sites for wind farm projects in the waters off Hsinchu, Miaoli and Changhua counties and Taichung, for a total of 6.3GW in installed capacity.
It is believed that CIP selected the sites based on the latest data available to exclude environmental and ecological protection zones, as well as sensitive locations such as shipping lanes and areas close to military bases.
If a developer had conducted a basic investigation of marine life and ecological resources in waters off Taiwan before site selection, news about a foreign firm reportedly planning to set up wind farms around the islets of Pengjia (彭佳), Huaping (花瓶) and Mianhua (棉花) off northeastern Taiwan would not have upset Keelung Mayor Lin Yu-chang (林右昌) so much that he on Nov. 22 bluntly wrote on Facebook: “Don’t ever think about it. I’m against it.”
The three islets are in a region known for its volcanic geology, and Huaping and Mianhua were designated as wildlife sanctuaries 25 years ago, as they provide a breeding ground for migratory birds.
Moreover, the fishery resources in the region are rich with species, including mackerel, large prawn, neritic squid and flying fish, making it an important fishing ground for Keelung and Yilan fishers.
While Taiwan is encouraging the construction of offshore wind farms, the government should not ignore environmental and ecological concerns.
Although Taiwan’s efforts got off to a late start compared with other countries, the government has been moving in this direction for nearly five years.
However, the lack of horizontal communication and coordination among government agencies could still stymie potential projects.
It is unclear if CIP came up with its site selection after it conducted sufficient studies, but the potential for such disputes would be reduced if the government had readied a marine area database, excluding unsuitable sites for developers to avoid.
Similarly, a proposed 350MW Wpd Taiwan Energy Co offshore wind farm off the coast of Taoyuan was rejected in September by the Bureau of Energy, citing opposition from the Civil Aeronautics Administration about its proximity to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, even though the project passed an environmental impact assessment three years ago.
The Keelung mayor’s anger simply shows the continuing problems caused by a lack of horizontal communication between government agencies and unclear rules for developers.
In November last year, a man struck a woman with a steel bar and killed her outside a hospital in China’s Fujian Province. Later, he justified his actions to the police by saying that he attacked her because she was small and alone, and he was venting his anger after a dispute with a colleague. To the casual observer, it could be seen as another case of an angry man gone mad for a moment, but on closer inspection, it reflects the sad side of a society long brutalized by violent political struggles triggered by crude Leninism and Maoism. Starting
The year 2020 will go down in history. Certainly, if for nothing else, it will be remembered as the year of the COVID-19 pandemic and the continuing impact it has had on the world. All nations have had to deal with it; none escaped. As a virus, COVID-19 has known no bounds. It has no agenda or ideology; it champions no cause. There is no way to bully it, gaslight it or bargain with it. Impervious to any hype, posturing, propaganda or commands, it ignores such and simply attacks. All nations, big or small, are on a level playing field
In terms of the economic outlook for the semiconductor industry, Taiwan has outperformed the rest of the world for three consecutive years. This is quite rare. In addition, Taiwan has been playing an important role in the US-China technology dispute, and both want Taiwan on their side, reflecting the remaking of the nation’s semiconductor industry. Under the leadership of — above all — Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), the industry as a whole has shifted from a focus on capacity to a focus on quality, as companies now have to be able to provide integration of hardware and software, as well as
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