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June 29, 2017

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20 percent of power to come from renewables by 2025, says Tsai

President Tsai Ing-wen on Tuesday announced ambitious plans to generate 20 percent of the nation's energy from renewables and phase out nuclear power by 2025.

The plans would not only aim to decrease carbon emission, but also reduce the increasingly frequent bouts of smog engulfing Taiwan's cities, the Presidential Office said.

Tsai made the announcement as she attended a gathering with business and industry representatives.

Addressing the meeting, Tsai said that by 2025, the government was aiming for a fuel mix of 20 percent renewables, 50 percent natural gas and 30 percent coal.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) would roll out and execute its energy transition plans in the mid- to long-term, she added.

The president said the goal was to ensure a steady distribution of power, adding that this was something that government would "do its utmost to achieve."

Under the initial plans, the state-owned Taiwan Power Company and private-owned organizations are set to invest NT$3 trillion in energy infrastructure between now and 2025.

"This will expand domestic demand in a potentially huge business," Tsai said, expressing hope that domestic enterprises would support and contribute to the plan.

Presidential Office sources told local media that in light of concerns from industry regarding energy consumption and cross-strait trade, Tsai's announcement of the specific fuel-mix ratio was a clear show of initiative from the government.

In a move to line up the structure of energy distribution reform as an important policy for economy transition, Tsai and Premier Lin Chuan (林全) attended a briefing with MOEA chief Lee Chih-kung (李世光) on Feb. 9.

Lee reported on how Tsai's campaign pledge to achieve a nuclear-free homeland by 2025 would be implemented should the Legislative Yuan passed the revised Electricity Act.

The MOEA boss' briefing included details on power distribution and green energy development.

Optimistic About Economy

Tsai said she was optimistic about the future of Taiwan's economy, adding that the conditions, coupled with the government's innovative industrial programs, would help businesses move past current challenges.

The fact that the National Development Council's (NDC) business indicator had hit green for a sixth consecutive month — denoting "stable growth" — was proof of progress, the president said.

"It is like what Chinese National Federation of Industries Chairman Rock Hsu (許勝雄) said (last month), that the economy is moving towards a recovery."

Taiwan's economy was nearing the light at the end of the tunnel, Tsai said, with the president adding that she firmly believed that the road ahead would get brighter and brighter.

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