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Experts promote wider use of energy efficient technology (update)

2012/07/13 18:35:05

Taipei, July 13 (CNA) Taiwan should adopt wider use of a type of technology that can show on demand the amount of electricity being used, the Institute for Information Industry (III) suggested Friday.

The idea was put forward at the first of two seminars that are being held by the institute to promote energy information and communication technology.

With the energy-efficient technology, energy suppliers and users can get an instant idea of how much energy they have consumed, said Feng Ming-whei, director-general of the III's Smart Network System Institute, at the Taipei seminar.

Feng said the technology can help the country achieve the goal of conserving energy and reducing carbon emissions, in line with global trends.

The United States, for example, offloaded 53.06 megawatts in 2010, some 3 percent of its energy consumption during peak times, using the technology, she said.

Ray Chen, director of the III's Smart Network System Institute, said Taiwan has competitive strengths in the information and communication technology sector and called it a good time "to invest more in this field."

Taiwan invests about NT$2 billion (US$66.66 million) in the technology a year, while the scale of global investment is expected to total US$38.1 billion in 2012, he told CNA on the sidelines of the seminar.

Although the payoff period for an investment in the technology is longer than for one in consumer electronics, it is still worthwhile, Chen said.

"Taiwan has fallen behind many advanced countries (in investment in the field), but it's not too late for Taiwan to catch up with them," he said.

Chen Shi-lin, an electrical engineering professor at Taiwan's Chung Yuan Christian University, also backed further investment in the field, saying that more extensive use of the technology can help solve the potential energy shortage the country faces as it moves toward the goal of becoming a "nuclear-free homeland."

Since the government has decided not to extend the life of the No. 1 nuclear power plant beyond 2019, the country will face an energy shortage, Chen said, noting that nuclear power accounts for 20 percent of Taiwan's electricity output.

The technology can help minimize the problem, he said. "There is no other way out."

The second III seminar will be held in Kaohsiung on June 19.

(By James Lee)