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Using natural gas for energy will cost more: economics minister

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- With the future closing of nuclear power plants, Taiwan will rely more on natural gas, and and since that costs more utility prices may hike as a result, said Economics Minister Chang Chia-juch (張家祝) yesterday.

According to Lin Sheng-chung (林聖忠), the chairman of Chinese Petroleum Corporation (CPC, 中油), Taiwan's imports of natural gas rose 15.6 percent over a period of three years. With Taiwan divided over the use of nuclear power, natural gas is likely to become a crucial source of energy supply in the future, Lin said.

The Chinese Association for Energy Economics yesterday held a symposium to discuss natural gas' market evolution and outlook. With Taiwan pondering the feasibility of retiring nuclear power plants, using renewable energy is now on the menu.

However, it is not yet a mature technology and therefore may not be regarded as a stable energy source, said Economics Minister Chang. Judging from the experience of Japan, natural gas is a more reliable alternative power source.

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