President appeals for efforts to promote energy independence
CNATAIPEI -- President Ma Ying-jeou expressed hope Tuesday that people in various sectors around Taiwan will work hard to find a way to free Taiwan from its reliance on imported energy resources.
October 16, 2013, 12:11 am TWN
For Taiwan, “energy resources is not just a livelihood or economic problem, but also a national security problem,” Ma said at a forum on the development of renewable energy resources.
More than 98 percent of the country's energy demand is supported by imports, Ma said. Therefore, he went on, there is no room for Taiwan to give up any possible options for acquiring energy resources, including coal, natural gas, nuclear energy, wind power and solar energy.
The government must objectively lay out an energy resources combination that benefits the country to the greatest extent, the president said.
In addition, it must also take other factors into consideration, including electricity generation efficiency, costs, and carbon dioxide emission reduction, he noted.
Ma said renewable energy is a very good option in Taiwan's efforts to establish a green, low-carbon society.
Electricity supplies in Taiwan generated by renewable energy accounts for just 3.4 percent of the total, he said, adding that this proportion could be increased.
However, he also admitted that this kind of energy is bound by the natural environment.
For example, he went on, Taiwan has great electricity demand but weak wind during the summer, a problem that is similar to Japan, where the biggest electricity demand happens in winter, when sunlight is weak.
In terms of renewable energy resources, the challenge is how to fix the gap between demand and supply, Ma said. He expressed hope that science and technology can resolve this dilemma and the cost problem, so that the country no longer needs to heavily rely on energy imports.
4000 Wind Turbines Needed If No Nuke 4
At the forum, Liang Chi-yuan, president of the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research, said Taiwan would need about 4,000 2-megawatt (MW) wind turbines to replace its controversial almost completed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, which is situated in heavily populated Northern Taiwan.
Taiwan at present has only 300-plus such turbines, the economist said, noting that, if the country is to achieve the additional 3,700, it would need approximately 15,000 hectares of land to accommodate them, equivalent to 60 percent of the size of Taipei.
There have been widespread public calls for the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant project to be scrapped out of safety concerns. The campaign, however, is challenged by possible electricity shortages after the three currently operating nuclear power plants are decommissioned by 2025 as scheduled.