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October, 24, 2016

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Taipower warns of electricity shortages

The Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) warned on Tuesday of electricity shortages as the country's operating reserve dived to the eighth lowest in history, triggering an orange alert.

According to official records released by Taipower, the company only has a 2.88-percent operating reserve of just 902 Megawatts, the second lowest figure in the past 10 months

An orange alert is triggered when Taipower's operating reserve falls below 6 percent. A red alert — when the reserve falls below 900 megawatts — may see the firm impose emergency restrictions on electricity use.

Air conditioning at the Executive Yuan was shut down for two hours on Tuesday to conserve energy and lead by example, officials said.

In a social media post Tuesday, Minister Without Portfolio Chang Ching-sen (張景森) urged citizens to conserve energy.

Electricity Law Amendment Sent to Executive Yuan

Chang said an amendment to electricity laws had been sent to the Executive Yuan Monday, adding that experts and environmentalists had been invited to the meetings, which he will personally chair.

"The committee will review the 100 clauses in the amendment in preparation for sending it to the Legislative Yuan for approval by Thursday."

Chang quipped that the process would be akin to a marathon.

The alert from Taipower comes as a cacophony of voices have clashed over the course of energy reform.

Premier Lin Chuan (林全) promised during a Legislative Yuan interrogation that electricity price for households would not increase, regardless of what shape reforms took.

Energy Reform

As the nation prepares for possible restraints on energy use, the debate over the shift from fossil fuels and nuclear power to renewable generation has continued to stir fervent debate in government and among the general public.

According to local media, on Monday Taipower submitted a report to the Economic Affairs Ministry that included a proposal to build an underwater nuclear waste dump.

The state-run electricity company rebutted the rumors, asserting that only on-land radioactive disposal sites had been proposed in the report.

"However, ocean disposal remains a possibility," Taiwan Power Company spokesperson Lin Te-fu (林德福) said later Tuesday, stressing that "it would be a last resort."

The majority of the nation's nuclear waste is currently stored on Taitung County's Orchid Island.

Residents there have repeatedly called for the waste to be moved.However, neither the government nor Taipower have proposed an alternative.

The Cabinet has promised to shut down the Nuclear Power Plant No.1 in New Taipei City's Shimen District by 2019.

However, residents worry that if the plant were to be demolished, the site would be used to store radioactive waste should Taipower fail to find an alternative solution in time.

Premier Lin asserted on Tuesday that the decommissioning of Nuclear Power Plant No. 1 would proceed as schedule, and that "the government will seek to develop all alternatives to maintain the nation's electricity generation."

October 19, 2016    WWLEE5@
It's important that electricty is available at least to those in need such as hospitals, important infrastructure that requires it. Therefore there should be some tier pricing for residential use to persuade people to conserve.
October 20, 2016    blairjames@
The problem is there are no real solutions to carry the base load except nuclear - that is, unless we want to take a step backward and start using fossil fuels.
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 Fear radiates 
A high-voltage tower is seen in the distance in a photo taken on Tuesday, Oct. 18. The Taiwan Power Company on Tuesday issued an orange alert for the nation's electricity supply as the operating reserve percentage dropped to 2.8 percent, making it the eighth lowest in history. (CNA)

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