Business group calls for measures to ensure stable power supply

A business association on Tuesday called on the government to set out its proposals to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and conduct a review of energy policy to prevent a potential energy crisis.

In order to optimize low-carbon infrastructure, the government should establish a carbon pricing and greenhouse gas inventory system, said Lin Por-fong (???), chairman of the Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce.

The government should also review its energy transition initiative to guarantee stable power supply and install renewable energy facilities to expand power generation capacity and rationalize the price of electricity.

Lin made the remarks at a breakfast meeting attended by several government officials and business representatives.

Lin told reporters before the event that he agreed with the warning issued by Hon Hai Group founder Terry Gou (???) that "there will be a shortage of electricity next year."

According to Gou, the public should prepare for an electricity shortage from next year after two referendum initiatives, on whether to unseal the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant and whether to relocate a liquefied natural gas terminal project off the coast of Taoyuan to avoid destroying an algal reef, failed to pass in a national vote on Dec. 18.

Lin described the outcome of the referendums as a demonstration of public opinion and emphasized that the government has to come up with solutions to manage the looming power crisis. "Energy policies must be reviewed and revised," he said.

It is the government's policy to phase out nuclear power by 2025 with a targeted energy mix of 50 percent natural gas, 30 percent coal and 20 percent renewables, Lin said.

However, it has yet to achieve its stated goal of installed capacity of renewable energy, Lin noted.

Moreover, while use of natural gas has fallen around the world in line with various methods for emissions reduction, Taiwan is still opting to increase its use of gas. This means the government must reflect on its energy policy, he said, adding that Taiwan should not be overly reliant on natural gas, which is not carbon-free.

Also at the meeting, Mark Liu (???), chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world's largest contract chipmaker, said that reaching zero greenhouse gas emissions is a global trend that Taiwan should adhere to.

In response, Vice Premier Shen Jong-chin (???) said in his remarks at the breakfast meeting that the expansion of liquefied natural gas is essential to Taiwan's transition to sustainable energy.

The government will strike a balance between ensuring stability of power supply and environmental protection via existing mechanisms, according to Shen.

Taiwan has announced its commitment to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and is preparing regulations to achieve that pledge, Shen said, adding that the government is scheduled to highlight approaches to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 in the first half of next year.

Meanwhile, Chang Tzi-chin (???), head of the Environmental Protection Administration, said Taiwan's carbon emission goal for 2030 will be included in the country's intended nationally determined contributions.

In addition, a carbon pricing mechanism to charge big emitters for carbon pollution is being designed and will be included in the Climate Change Response Act draft amendment which is expected to clear the Legislature next year.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel