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Taiwan green shift defies energy security fears

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Ambitious transition to renewables comes despite supply shortages and nuclear phase-out

2 Jan 2018

……Edward White in Taipei January 2, 2018 6 Taiwan is forging ahead with an ambitious plan to revamp its electricity mix despite fears about energy security, as pressure builds on the government to tackle worsening air pollution. The government has faced growing calls to tackle the toxic smog that blights many parts of Taiwan — thousands took to the streets last month to protest against coal-fired power.

President Tsai Ing-wen and her Democratic Progressive party are pushing ahead with a proposal to cut coal use and boost renewable generation. But cost uncertainties, Taiwan’s acute energy supply problems and a pledge to phase out nuclear power on the earthquake-prone island threaten to complicate the plan. “We do see it as ambitious,” said Jennifer Morgan, Greenpeace executive director. “It is pretty unique that they are trying to deal with both [nuclear and climate change risks] at the same time.”

The government aims to lift renewables’ share of Taiwan’s power mix from 6 per cent to 20 per cent over the next seven years via construction of offshore wind farms and solar installations, and to reduce carbon emissions to 20 per cent of 2005 levels by 2030…..

………..Developers are confident the plan can be realised and international companies are flocking to Taiwan to bid for new projects after legislation was passed to end Taipower’s monopoly by opening renewable projects to private companies. “There is a very good wind resource in this region and the government is pushing this industry, giving some very favourable feed-in-tariffs for the developers,” said Mr Probst. “It seems very likely that a large capacity will be installed between 2020 and 2025.” There are, however, also questions about future power price increases. Early estimates put the investment in wind power, alone, at $19.2bn, but government agencies remain unclear on the total costs of the transition……

For full article; https://www.ft.com/content/6b429f2e-e3c6-11e7-97e2-916d4fbac0da

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January 5, 2018 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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