Taiwan protesters demand sustainable energy, nuclear power phase-out, San Diego Jewish World, March 11, 2017 rom dpa German Press Agency Taipei (dpa) – Thousands of anti-nuclear protesters took to the streets across Taiwan on Saturday to urge the government to speed up steps to abandon nuclear power, find solutions to the problem of radioactive waste and develop more sustainable energy resources.
The demonstrations came as Japan marked the sixth anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that caused a nuclear meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
Protesters gathered Saturday in the capital, Taipei; in the port city of Kaohsiung in the south; and in Taitung City in the east.
Organizers said the protests included representatives from more than 200 non-governmental environmental groups, human rights groups, child welfare organisations and others.
On a square in Taipei in front of the office of Taiwanese President Tsai ing-wen, demonstrators waved signs that read, “No Nukes,” “Low Carbon” and “Sustainable Energy.”………http://www.sdjewishworld.com/2017/03/11/taiwan-protesters-demand-sustainable-energy-nuclear-power-phase-out/
ENDITEM/AW/ Cabinet spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) reiterated on Saturday that the government’s goal of phasing out nuclear power in Taiwan by 2025 remains unchanged, as protesters held anti-nuclear power rallies around the country.
Hsu said the government will brief the public about its plans later this month, including ways to increase the amount of electricity generated from renewable sources nationwide to 20 percent by 2025.
Other issues such as handling nuclear waste, upgrading to more efficient thermal power plants and steps to decommission the country’s three active nuclear power plants will also be addressed, added state-run utility Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) in a statement.
Hsu made the remarks as demonstrations were held in Taipei, Kaohsiung and Taitung against the continued use of nuclear power in Taiwan on the sixth anniversary of an earthquake and tsunami in Japan that resulted in a nuclear incident that forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people from the region around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
The protesters demanded that the government move faster on its pledge to create a “nuclear power free homeland,” including the announcement of more concrete plans and a timetable.
The Atomic Energy Council said it will complete its review by June of Taipower’s plan to phase out the No. 1 nuclear Power plant.
The council is also demanding Taipower too put forth its plans to decommission the second and third nuclear plower plants by 2018 and 2021, respectively.
Thousands expected to march to protest nuclear power today http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2017/03/11/2003666562 By Abraham Gerber / Staff reporter The nation’s annual march against nuclear power plants is to be held today, with activists on Thursday calling for more openness and civic participation in crafting a nuclear waste disposal plan.
“We have to keep the pressure on the government, otherwise it will stall — our hope is that there should be a result by the conclusion of the Democratic Progressive Party’s [DPP] four years in power,” Green Citizens’ Action Alliance secretary-general Tsuei Su-hsin (崔愫欣) said while leading more than a dozen people in a protest outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.
People plan to congregate on Ketagalan Boulevard this afternoon for the march, a major annual environmental demonstration.
“This will be our first march since the DPP took full control [of the government] and there are a lot of issues — from retiring nuclear reactors to transitioning to different forms of energy — where we feel there is a need for society to rigorously inspect whether the government has sufficient political resolve,” Tsuei said.
Tsuei added that nuclear waste disposal and energy taxes were key issues.
“Nuclear waste disposal cannot be something where Taiwan Power Co just makes a decision for itself,” Mom Loves Taiwan secretary-general Yang Shun-mei (楊順美) said, calling for open discussion of how waste is to be addressed, included the geology of proposed disposal sites.
“Statements the government has made about future energy prices have been extremely conservative and vague,” Green Citizens’ Action Alliance deputy secretary-general Hung Shen-han (洪申翰) said, calling for the government to stop avoiding demands for an energy tax.
“The government should definitely be taking action and I trust that now is the time for the DPP to realize the promises it made before the election,” said DPP Legislator Chuang Ruei-hsiung (莊瑞雄), who represented the party’s legislative caucus in talks with the protesters.
He said the party is considering establishing a cross-party legislative committee to draft plans for the disposal of nuclear waste.
Operations of two reactors at the No. 4 nuclear power plant in New Taipei City have been put on hold.
TAIPEI–Taiwan enacted a revised law on Jan. 11 to phase out nuclear power generation by 2025 and increase renewables, a considerable challenge for this resource-poor island.
Departure from nuclear power was a campaign pledge of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, who assumed office in May.
The bill met with no strong opposition during deliberations at the Legislative Yuan, or the Taiwanese parliament.
The legislation aims to raise the share of renewables, such as solar or wind power, from the current 4 percent to 20 percent of total output in 2025 by liberalizing the renewable energy market.
Electricity generated at three nuclear power stations account for about 14 percent of Taiwan’s electricity output. Operations have been frozen at a fourth nuclear power plant because of public outcry against nuclear power following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
The industrial sector and others have raised concerns about possible fluctuations in the power supply or a spike in utility rates in the coming years.
Another focal point of debate was disposal of radioactive waste kept at a facility in an outlying island.
The Executive Yuan, the equivalent of Japan’s Cabinet, sponsored the bill to revise the electricity utilities industry law to pave the way for a nuclear-free society.
Under the revised law, Taiwan Power Co., operator of all nuclear power plants in Taiwan, will be spun off into two companies: one in charge of power generation and the other overseeing electricity distribution.
All six reactors in Taiwan will reach their 40-year operation limit by May 2025. The No. 1 reactor at the No. 1 nuclear power plant will be the first to hit the limit, in December 2018.
The revised law ruled out the possibility of extending the lives of the reactors, stating that all reactors will end their operations by 2025.
Taiwan to end nuclear power generation by 2025 http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20170112VL201.html Adam Hwang, DIGITIMES, Taipei [Thursday 12 January 2017]
Taiwan’s legislature has amended the Electricity Act, ending nuclear power generation in the country by 2025 and liberalizing the local electricity market.
Taiwan currently has three operational nuclear power plants.
The amendments stipulate the state-run Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) go private and separate its business operations into independent electricity generation, distribution and sale business units in six to nine years.
The revamped law also gives renewable energy priority to go on grid and allows its direct sale from generators to users. Currently all electricity must be sold through Taipower.
The Taiwan government will establish an electricity price stabilization fund to prevent drastic fluctuations in electricity price.
FDA announced a national recall of a fermented soybean product on Sunday, after discovering that the product included a package of soy sauce originating from a “radiation-affected” region of Japan.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a national recall of a fermented soybean product on Sunday, after discovering that the product included a small package of soy sauce originating from a radiation-affected region of Japan.
Radiation detection tests conducted by the Atomic Energy Council showed that the soy sauce had not been contaminated by nuclear substances, the FDA said.
But the discovery of the Ibaraki-sourced soy sauce had caught authorities off guard, highlighting a loophole in Taiwan’s five-year ban on food imports from five Japanese prefectures.
Food products from Fukushima, Gunma, Chiba, Ibaraki and Tochigi prefectures are banned over fears they may be contaminated with radioactive substances, following the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2011.
During a press conference on Sunday, FDA officials said they had asked all national retailers to recall products containing the soy sauce as a preventative measure. Any business that chose to keep the product in the market would be subject to a maximum NT$3 million penalty, health authorities said.
Officials said the soy sauce had been sold by food importer Taicrown Corporation (太冠國際) to downstream distributors including Japanese restaurant chain Yoshinoya, RT-Mart, shopping malls SOGO, Shinkong Mitsukoshi and Far Eastern.
The recalled fermented soybean product, called natto, had been manufactured by a Japanese company called KAJINOYA, FDA official Wu Ming-mei (吳明美) said.
Wu said the importer was in the process of collecting related information and would provide further details to the FDA before 5 p.m. on Monday.
According to media, Yoshinoya said its supplier provided safety certification for its imports, but that it had decided to pull the product from their menus regardless.
SOGO and Shinkong Mitsukoshi both said Taicrown Corporation had yet to offer any explanations and both offered refunds to customers that had purchased the product.
RT-Mart also issued a statement Sunday, stressing it had removed the natto product from its shelves last Friday after finding it suspicious during internal product inspections earlier that day.
Five other natto products imported by Taicrown have also been removed, and customers may receive refunds if they have any concerns, said RT-Mart.
The current administration is planning to gradually relax restrictions on Japanese food imports from the Fukushima nuclear disaster zones, but faced violent protests at public hearings last month.
Food products from Japanese areas are not on sale: agency
The Food and Drug Administration yesterday rejected as rumors claims that food products produced in Japanese prefectures surrounding the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant can be purchased in Taiwan, urging the public not to buy food products without Chinese-language labels.
The Council of Agriculture and the Ministry of Health and Welfare last month presented a two-stage plan to ease a ban on food imports, which was imposed in March 2011, from five Japanese prefectures near the site of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Taichung City Councilor Tuan Wei-yu (段緯宇) last week said that wine and snacks from the five prefectures could be purchased at department stores.
However, the Taichung Department of Health said that alcoholic products from the five prefectures can be imported if they have passed batch-by-batch radiation examinations, while the snacks Tuan used as examples were made in other prefectures.
One rumor that has recently spread across social networks claims that Japanese food products labeled as being made in Tokyo that have a “K” appended to the expiration date on their packaging are actually from Fukushima Prefecture.
The administration issued a statement clarifying that letters appended to expiration dates are in fact codes representing different areas for different food companies.
Consumers can check Japanese companies’ official Web sites to verify where products were made, the agency said, adding that, for example, an “A” appended to the expiration date on the packaging of products by Nissin Foods means they were made in Toride, Ibaraki Prefecture.
The administration urged people to only buy food products with Chinese-language labels, not believe everything they read online — especially information without reliable sources of scientific evidence — and avoid spreading false information.
Taiwan-Japan trade talks conclude with signing of two memorandums
Taipei, Nov. 30 (CNA) Annual trade and economic talks between Taiwan and Japan concluded in Taipei Wednesday, with the two sides signing two cooperation memorandums on product safety and language education.
Chiou I-jen (邱義仁), head of the Taiwan delegation and president of the Association of East Asian Relations (AEAR), and his Japanese counterpart, Japan Interchange Association Chairman Mitsuo Ohashi, signed the notes stipulating that the two countries will work together in the promotion of exchanges in the two areas.
Chiou and Ohashi left the venue without speaking to the press after the signing ceremony, but they agreed to be photographed.
Outside the venue, several dozen activists staged a protest against radiation-contaminated food products. The protest came after Ohashi urged Taiwan at the opening of the annual talks a day earlier to lift a ban on food products from five radiation-affected Japanese prefectures.
Asked if Japan had asked Taiwan to ease the ban during the two-day trade and economic meeting, AEAR Deputy Secretary-General Tsai Wei-kan (蔡偉淦) confirmed in a press conference held after the event that the Japanese side brought up the request, as had been expected.
However, the Taiwanese delegates expressed hope for understanding that there are still disputes over the issue, and that they would not discuss the issue during the annual talks, since it was not on the agenda, Tsai said.
Taiwan has banned imports of food products from five prefectures in Japan — Fukushima, Gunma, Chiba, Ibaraki and Tochigi — that were contaminated with radiation following the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in March 2011, a catastrophe triggered by a massive earthquake and tsunami.
After Taiwan’s new government, inaugurated in May, revealed recently that it was considering lifting the ban on food from all of those prefectures except Fukushima, the idea has received strong opposition.
Economics Minister Lee Chih-kung (李世光) confirmed Wednesday that the controversial issue of Japanese food imports was not on the agenda of the 41st Taiwan-Japan Trade and Economic Meeting.
“It has been the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ consistent stance that no compromise can be made in the people’s welfare in the area of food safety,” Lee told the press.
He also agreed that all food regulations should meet international regulations and scientific rules.
Meanwhile, elaborating upon what was discussed during the meeting, Tsai said that Taiwan, as usual, asked Japan to co-sign an economic partnership agreement (EPA).
Such a pact is not just one that touches on simply economic problems, Tsai said, but involves political considerations.
Nevertheless, the Japanese side said its stance in establishing a comprehensive trade and investment relationship with Taiwan has not changed, he went on.
As for a request by Taiwan for Japan to open its doors to five more kinds of Taiwan-grown fruit, Tsai said the Japanese side requires more data and relevant documents.
At Wednesday’s press conference, Liu Ming-tang (劉明堂), head of the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection, said the cooperation memorandum on product safety mainly focuses on electronic and electrical products, as well as machinery.
It will help reduce safety risks, allowing consumers to enjoy a higher level of safety protection, Liu said.
On the language education memorandum, the Taiwanese delegation said that under the pact, personnel exchanges will be conducted in the hope of upgrading the quality of language and culture education on both sides.
The Taiwan-Japan trade and economic meeting has been the only official platform for Taiwanese and Japanese officials to discuss issues of mutual concern since diplomatic relations between the two countries were severed in 1972. It has been held annually since 1976.
Hundreds protest Fukushima imports
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Hundreds on Thursday called for the president and premier to resign, accusing the ruling party of “selling out Taiwan” and “poisoning our children” in its push to ease a ban on food imports from Japan’s radiation-affected regions.
Protesters organized by the Kuomintang (KMT) demonstrated in front of the Executive Yuan early Thursday, as party councilors from across the country took turns addressing the crowd.
“We are humans, and humans don’t eat radiation-contaminated food,” the crowd chanted with Tainan City Councilor Hsieh Lung-chieh (謝龍介), who accused that Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of betraying its promise to safeguard Taiwan’s food safety.
“We all remember clearly which party strongly protested against nuclear power in the past, but who’s about to feed poisonous food to our children now!” Hsieh said.
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hsin-yi (王欣儀) said the protest was not about political issues but was instead “a matter of life and death.”
Taipei City Councilor Ying Hsiao-wei (應曉薇) introduced a 3-year-old girl carried by an elderly woman, and urged the crowd to “fight the government to defend public health.”
Clash with Police
Hsieh asked police officers to “give way” to protesters so they could enter the Executive Yuan and submit their petition to the premier.
When the police stood their ground, demonstrators attempted to storm the grounds.
The clash ended after Hsu Fu (許輔), director of the Cabinet’s food safety office, stepped outside the Executive Yuan to receive the protesters’ petition and then invited KMT Legislator Alicia Wang (王育敏) and Chen Yi-ming (陳宜民) into the building for talks.
‘No contaminated food’
“No radiation-contaminated food products will be allowed into the nation,” according to a Cabinet press statement released Friday afternoon.
The Cabinet stated that it would take protesters’ concerns into account and reinstate its “four-noes policy” on Japanese food imports.
It said all products from the Fukushima Prefecture would continue to be prohibited from entering Taiwan’s borders.
Food products from Gunma, Ibaraki, Tochigi, and Chiba — four of the five prefectures affected by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster — that are at high risk of absorbing radiation would also remain banned.
Those with a lower risk of radiation contamination would also stay banned if they did not have a certificate confirming state of origin and radiation levels.
Food products still banned by the U.S. and the Japanese government would also remain banned from Taiwan.
An earthquake and tsunami had triggered meltdowns of nuclear power plants in Fukushima Prefecture in 2011.
Dozens of countries worldwide imposed sanctions or tightened restrictions on food imports produced in the regions around Fukushima Prefecture.
Starting 2015, the European Union and the U.S. gradually lifted the bans as Tokyo continued to urge the move on grounds of fair international trade.
Government communication on Japanese food is a failure: Luis Ko
The issue of allowing the import of food products from parts of Japan affected by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster has triggered a spate of conflicts and quarrels in Taiwan. Apart from opposition parties and social groups including physicians, even Democratic Progressive Party city mayors and county magistrates have been sending out mixed signals. The uproar has even made the model student in the matter of food safety, I-Mei Foods Co. CEO Luis Ko, shake his head. On November 19, he wrote on his Facebook page that the government should plan first and move later, and not create needless public dissatisfaction and unease.
Because several countries recently gradually lifted import restrictions on products from the disaster-stricken areas, Taiwan could soon follow suit and allow the import of some products from Fukushima prefecture and from four other prefectures (Gunma, Ibaraki, Tochigi and Chiba). The government organized public hearings on the matter which were criticized as haphazard. Earlier this week, 15 county and city chiefs from ruling and opposition parties voiced their opposition and said they did not agree with the import of the food. However, after the Presidential Office and the Executive Yuan contacted the 13 DPP mayors and magistrates, they altered their stance and said they agreed with the central government, saying that what they opposed was food imported from Fukushima prefecture.
On November 19, I-Mei Foods CEO Luis Ko wrote on his Facebook page that he felt surprise and concern at the government’s current handling of its food safety policy. He wondered why the government departments and officials in charge of agricultural produce and foodstuffs were the ones to stand at the forefront of the discussions with the public, and why the officials at the Ministry of Health and Welfare and at the Food and Drug Administration, who have usually made brave statements about food safety issues, only played a “supporting role.” He said the government had failed in its internal communication and integration. “Major problems have arisen with the functioning of the government team!”
Luis Ko also says the fact that the new government has failed to successfully execute several policies over the past six months as a result of insufficient internal “communication and integration” and of being unable to “plan first and move later.” He concluded by calling on the president and the premier to bear in mind the profound hopes of the people and to show the ability to reflect.
Keelung city council member Lu Mei-ling appeared with zombie makeup applied to her face
Keelung councilwoman paints face like zombie to protest ‘radioactive’ Japanese food Wearing makeup to appear like a zombie covered in radiation burns, Keelung councilwoman protests lifting of ban on imported Japanese food
At a city council budget review meeting in Keelung City on Thursday, council member Lu Mei-ling appeared with zombie makeup applied to her face to dramatize her concerns about the proposal to allow the import of food from radiation-affected areas of Japan.
Lu claimed if she ate radioactive food products for three months, her skin would start to look like the zombie makeup on her face and her bone marrow would contain large amounts of radiation, with no way to expel it from her body. She also questioned the health bureau for not having plans on educating the public about protecting themselves from this danger.
Lu said just thinking about a nuclear disaster makes her loose sleep at night, “I’m really afraid, just thinking about it makes me tremble, this isn’t serious?”
A group of 19 Keelung City Council members from across the political spectrum held a press conference at noon. Lead by Council Speaker Sung Wei-li (宋瑋莉), the councilors shouted “don’t eat or buy” and “no nukes, protect Taiwan.” Meanwhile 20 members of the council signed a joint statement asking Keelung Mayor Lin Yu-chang (林右昌) to “add a ban on the importation of foods from radiation-affected prefectures of Japan to The Keelung City Food Safety Regulations.”
Three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in March 2011 suffered meltdowns after sustaining damage from a magnitute 9.0 earthquake and flooding by a subsequent 13-to-15-meter tsunami. Four of the plant’s six reactors released radiation into the atmosphere and ocean, prompting many countries around the world, including Taiwan, to ban imports of food products from the Japanese prefectures of Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba, for fear of radioactive contamination.
Taiwan’s government is now considering lifting the ban on food imports from four prefectures, and though Fukushima has been excluded from this list, the measure is still facing stiff opposition with protesters paralyzing 10 public hearings held by the Cabinet over the weekend on the issue.
The Cabinet is mulling a gradual lifting of the ban in two phases. The first phase would keep the ban on Fukushima, while lifting the ban on Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba prefectures on the condition of batch-by-batch inspection and the exclusion of high-risk products, such as baby milk powder, drinking water, and tea products. A yet-to-be-announced second phase could take place six months later.
An analysis by Colorado State University showed that after taking 900,000 samples of food produced in Fukushima over the course of three years, found that radiation levels in the vast majority of the samples were below Japan’s limits, the strictest in the world. As for the safety seafood, a study released by the National Academy of Sciences in February 2016 said “the overall contamination risk for aquatic food items is very low” and has steadily decreased since the reactor meltdowns in 2011.
Many Japanese organizations have been pressing President Tsai Ying-wen to lift the ban on food products since she took office in May. Taiwan and China are reportedly the only countries still banning food from the five Japanese prefectures surrounding the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.
Taipei, Nov. 16 (CNA) Thirteen cities and counties governed by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) issued a joint statement on Wednesday to clarify their position on the potential lifting of restrictions on food imports from radiation-affected areas of Japan.
The statement said that both the central government and local governments controlled by the DPP have an uncompromising commitment to safeguard the health of the general public.
The signatories to the statement called for the introduction of stricter food safety standards than those in the European Union and the United States.
On the government’s plan to allow food imports from four radiation-affected prefectures the signatories insisted on four principles.
The first is that the ban on imports of food products from Fukushima remains in place.
Second, the ban on tea, water, baby formula and aquatic products from four prefectures – Gunma, Chiba, Ibaraki and Tochigi – will not be lifted.
Third, no food products will be imported from these four prefectures without certificates of origin and radiation inspection documentation provided by the relevant authorities.
Fourth, the import ban will remain on food products not on sale in Japan and the United States.
At a regular DPP Central Standing Committee meeting later in the day, the heads of the 13 cities and counties said the position laid out in the joint statement is in line with that of the central government.
Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said that food safety is the responsibility of the government and any changes in import controls on food products should only be introduced after full disclosure of relevant information and communication with the public.
When asked if local government heads had been mobilized to endorse government policy, Pingtung County Magistrate Pan Meng-an (潘孟安) dismissed the suggestion, saying that local officials are more interested in the health and safety of their own citizens.
Taiwan has banned imports of food products from five prefectures in Japan that were contaminated with radiation following the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in March 2011, which was triggered by a massive earthquake and tsunami.
Taiwan’s government is now considering lifting the ban on food imports from the five prefectures, though not Fukushima, but has encountered heavy opposition.
Since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) assumed office in May, different Japanese organizations have asked Taiwan to lift the ban on food products, according to domestic news reports.
TRUTHFUL? The Green Consumers’ Foundation claims that a Ministry of Health and Welfare report on Japanese food imports contains false and inaccurate information
Green Consumers’ Foundation chairman Jay Fang (方儉) yesterday filed a lawsuit against Minister of Health and Welfare Lin Tzou-yien (林奏延) at the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office accusing the minister of “forgery,” claiming that the ministry’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) used false data in its report on easing restrictions on Japanese food imports from the five prefectures closest to the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, which suffered a meltdown in March 2011.
Fang said that the government’s report provided at the weekend at public hearings on lifting the ban on imports of Japanese food items from the five prefectures contained false data that could mislead the public.
He said the report claims that “only China and Taiwan still impose a total ban on food imports from the five prefectures closest to Fukushima [Dai-ichi],” but the US FDA had issued an alert last month stating that the coast guard “may detain, without physical examination,” certain specified products from firms in 14 prefectures near Fukushima Dai-ichi.
The report also claims that “the standard [for acceptable radiation levels in food] in Taiwan is the same as other nations,” but Taiwan has looser standards than many nations, he added.
He said the government in January established 100 becquerel per kilogram (Bq/kg) as the standard radiation limit for food, but another 100Bq/kg was set as the standard radiation limit for iodine-131, meaning the total limit is 200Bq/kg.
“Is the Ministry of Health and Welfare protecting the public’s health or is it protecting radiation-contaminated food and feeding it to us?” Fan asked, urging the government to provide truthful data to the public.
In response, FDA Deputy Director Lin Ching-fu (林金富) said the ministry regrets that Fan has misread its data and that the ministry had not forged any data, adding that Fan, having filed a lawsuit, should be held to the equivalent legal liability.
FDA Division of Food Safety official Cheng Wei-chih (鄭維智) said safety standard for general food items is 100Bq/kg for “iodine-131” and 100Bq/kg for “cesium-134 and cesium-137,” and that the radioisotopes are examined separately.
20GW by 2025: Behind Taiwan’s big solar numbers, PV Tech Nov 02, 2016 By Tom Kenning Nuclear reactors approaching end-of-life, a sound PV manufacturing industry and a robust legal system all make a strong case for solar PV to muscle into Taiwan’s energy mix. A new government set the tone for renewables integration by setting a target of 20GW solar by 2025 last year, but this is one of the most densely populated countries on earth, with two thirds of the island covered in steep mountainous forest and national parks; where the city ends the mountains begin. Moreover, a list of unique geographical and cultural challenges to PV development is topped off by the looming threat of some of the most gruelling typhoons in all Asia.
The capital city Taipei, to the north of the island, where population is most concentrated, also happens to have the poorest irradiation. Meanwhile, if solar deployment is concentrated in the more favourable conditions of the south, transmission infrastructure is limited. An island population of more than 23 million needs a solid agricultural industry, so the government has had to focus on releasing uncultivable land for solar, which is again in short supply. Even floating solar is being promoted in an attempt to alleviate these land constrictions. However, with many more hurdles for solar developers ahead, the proximity of Japan and the fallout over Fukushima means the appetite for nuclear has been quashed. New forms of energy are the priority.
As the Taiwan government prepares to finalise details of how its target will be met, PV Tech examines some of the huge numbers being proposed and what it will take to realise them. The government has shown clear support for its clean energy transition with Chen Chien-Jen, vice president of the Republic of China (Taiwan), speaking at the opening ceremony of the PV Tawain exhibition in Taipei this year. He cited the need for more energy independence while reiterating plans to phase out nuclear by 2025 through focusing on solar and off-shore wind.
He said: “Taiwan has great resources and is in a good positon to develop PV and green energy.”
According to the green energy policy released in 2015 by the Bureau of Energy, Ministry of Economic Affairs, the plan is to have 20% of Taiwan’s energy mix coming from renewables by 2025. With all the island’s constraints, it would make sense to concentrate on the highest efficiency solar modules to make the most of every hectare of land used. As it happens, Taiwanese cell manufacturers have tended to produce some of the highest efficiency cells across the globe. It has roughly 2GW annual capacity of the higher efficiency cells, which would translate into the 2GW per year necessary over ten years to reach the domestic 20GW target.
It is no wonder then that Taiwan’s new feed-in tariff (FiT) is bias towards higher efficiency solar modules by offering a higher reward.
It may also be the reason that several Taiwanese cell manufacturers including Neo Solar Power (NSP) and AU Optronics have started to focus on vertical integration, as discussed by Solar Intelligence’s Finlay Colville in his two-part blog on upstream trends from PV Taiwan. For example, Alex Wen, senior vice president, NSP, tells PV Tech that with cell prices dropping as much as 33% in a period of just three months, the firm is increasing its module manufacturing as well as investing in solar PV projects to raise cash. Proximity to the sea and floating solar opportunities are also driving innovation in modules, with NSP due to release a double-glass module that benefits from water reflection.
PV Tech has already detailed how the landscape for solar in Taiwan is changing, but having canvassed industry members at PV Taiwan, here we go into more detail:
A very wise decision, we wish that other governments also would be wise enough to do the same. Congratulations to you Taiwan!
Taiwan’s fourth nuclear power plant in New Taipei City in the northern part of the island. Its construction has been suspended due to an anti-nuclear movement that has intensified since the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
TAIPEI–In a rare move for power-hungry Asia, the Taiwanese government has decided to abolish nuclear power generation by 2025 to meet the public’s demand for a nuclear-free society following the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Taiwan’s Executive Yuan, equivalent to the Cabinet in Japan, approved revisions to the electricity business law, which aim to promote the private-sector’s participation in renewable energy projects, on Oct. 20.
“Revising the law shows our determination to promote the move toward the abolition of nuclear power generation and change the ratios of electricity sources,” said President Tsai Ing-wen.
The government plans to start deliberations on the revised bill in the Legislative Yuan, or the parliament, in the near future, with the goal of passing it within this year.
Movements toward a nuclear-free society are active in Europe. For example, Germany has decided to abolish nuclear power generation by 2022.
On the other hand, China and India are increasing nuclear power generation to meet the growing demand for electricity. In Taiwan, nuclear power accounted for 14.1 percent of all the electricity generated in 2015. At present, three nuclear power plants are operating.
However, the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant heightened public opinion against nuclear power generation. In response to the sentiment, Tsai, who assumed the presidency in May with a vow of establishing a nuclear-free society, led the government’s effort to abolish nuclear power.
Like Japan, Taiwan is hit by many earthquakes. The three nuclear power plants currently in operation will reach their service lives of 40 years by 2025. The revised bill will clearly stipulate that operations of all the nuclear plants will be suspended by that year. The stipulation will close the possible extension of their operations.
The government is looking to solar power and wind power as the pillars of renewable energies. It aims to increase their total ratio among all electricity sources from the current 4 percent to 20 percent in 2025.
However, meeting the goal assumes that electricity generated by solar power will increase 24-fold in 10 years. Because of that, some people harbor doubts on the viability of the plan.
“A hurdle to overcome to achieve the goal is very high,” said an electric power industry source.
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