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Electricity prices projected to rise to NT$3.39 per kWh by 2025

2019/03/04 16:19:12

Taipei, March 4 (CNA) Electricity consumption in Taiwan is projected to grow by 1.86 percent annually from 2018 to 2025 and electricity prices to increase 29 percent to NT$3.39 (US$0.11) per kilowatt hour (kWh) by 2025, as long as fuel prices remain unchanged, Economics Minister Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) said Monday, citing the ministry's latest electricity consumption report.

The estimated 1.86 percent annual growth is an upward revision from the 1.26 percent estimated by the ministry in 2017 after factoring in large scale investments in the semiconductor sector, more overseas Taiwanese businesses returning and investing at home, climate change and the emergence of electric vehicles, Shen said at a legislative hearing.

By 2025, it is estimated the average cost of electricity to consumers will increase to NT$3.39 per kWh, up from the current level of NT$2.62, Shen said.

The ministry had estimated the electricity consumption price would be NT$0.5 higher than in 2017 but added an additional NT$0.03 because of the government's decision to halt construction of the coal-fired Shenao Power Plant in New Taipei City and replace it with liquefied natural gas to meet power demand.

Meanwhile, in its latest report, the ministry estimated NT$470 billion will be needed to phase out Taiwan's three nuclear power plants, a 40 percent increase from the NT$335.3 billion estimated in the 2017 report.

Shen also said that to help keep consumer prices stable, electricity price rises will be capped at 3 percent this year and the ministry will use an energy price stabilization fund to offset state-run Taiwan Power Co.'s (Taipower) losses.

Considering the relative stability of global oil prices this year, there is no immediate need to hike electricity prices, but as that is up to the ministry's electricity price review committee, Shen said he will respect its decision.

(By Liao Yu-yang and Evelyn Kao)