President Ma vows to seek an 'appropriate energy mix'
July 16, 2014, 12:03 am TWN
TAIPEI--President Ma Ying-jeou said Tuesday that Taiwan needs to find "the most appropriate energy mix" because the country depends highly on energy imports due to its lack of natural resources.
Speaking at the Taiwan Sustainability Summit, Ma noted that he proposed three years ago to gradually make Taiwan a nuclear-free nation, on condition that the move will not entail power rationing or electricity price hikes.
That target, however, will need to be achieved cautiously in case the government is forced to impose power blackouts in the future, he said in his keynote speech at the summit, which was co-organized by the Taiwan branch of German engineering firm Siemens AG, the German Institute Taipei, the German Trade Office Taipei and the Taiwan Institute for Sustainable Energy.
Despite Germany's high electricity rate of NT$12 (US$0.4) per kilowatt-hour (kWh), Taiwan still can learn from the European nation's experience in determining its energy transition, Ma said.
"We hope that Germany can teach Taiwan some secrets of success to help us find the most appropriate energy mix and achieve the target of sustainability," the president said.
Unlike Germany, which has developed a joint grid plan with its neighbors, Taiwan has only an independent grid and needs to replace its nuclear power with renewable energy, Ma said, adding that nuclear power currently accounts for 18.8 percent of the country's total electricity supply.
To address the potential problem of power shortages, the government plans to hold a national energy meeting in late August to discuss solutions, Ma said.
Erdal Elver, president and chief executive officer of Siemens Taiwan, said at the summit that Taiwan is at a critical juncture in determining its energy transition.
Learning from Germany's experience will help the summit participants find an appropriate energy portfolio for Taiwan and determine whether its energy policy needs to be adjusted, he said.