Taiwan urged to seek 100% renewable energy by 2030

08/02/2018 11:01 PM

Taipei, Aug. 2 (CNA) An internationally renowned energy and climate advisor suggested Thursday that Taiwan should introduce more policies to accelerate and scale up its energy transition, with the goal of achieving 100 percent renewable energy by 2030.

"Transiting to 100 percent renewable is not a far away target. It is the main strategy in many nations," Hans-Josef Fell, founder and president of the Berlin-based Energy Watch Group, said in a keynote speech at an international forum on new energy in Taipei.

Fell said he was happy to see Taiwan embark on it own energy transition toward a nuclear-free homeland seven years after he discussed related issues with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) when she led an opposition Democratic Progressive Party delegation to Berlin in 2011.

Tsai has pledged to decommission Taiwan's nuclear power plants, which now generate 9.3 percent of the nations electricity, by 2025, and switch to a mix of 50 percent liquefied natural gas, 30 percent coal and 20 percent renewable energy, which currently accounts for 4.9 percent.

While commending Taiwan for moving toward embracing renewable energy, Fell said the German experience indicates there are ways to accelerate the transition.

When Germany enacted its Renewable Energy Sources Act in 2000, the share of electricity from renewable energy sources was roughly 6 percent, said Fell, who co-authored the draft version of the bill when he was a member of the German Parliamentary Group Alliance 90/the Greens.

Germany surpassed a statutory target to double the share of renewable energy by 2010, Fell said, adding that at one point, the doubling was achieved within seven years.

"Now renewable energy is cheap and goes faster. If this doubling goes on, we will have 100 renewable energy by 2030 in Germany. It's possible. I believe it will come," he said.

Fell said that aiming at 100 percent renewable energy is not just possible but necessary because the Earth's atmosphere has already been overloaded with greenhouses gases, including emissions of not only carbon dioxide but methane, the main component of natural gas.

"Natural gas is polluting the climate as well as coal and oil," he said. "We have to go to a zero-emissions economy, using 100 percent renewables and avoid the use of mineral oil, natural gas and coal."

Taiwan should phase out all subsidies for fossil fuels and the nuclear energy industry, use different policy instruments to direct private investment into renewable energy, introduce a carbon tax, and adopt a feed-in tariff policy, he said.

Fell also stressed the importance of diversifying sources of renewable energy to balance fluctuating power supply based on solar and wind power.

He further suggested that Taiwan learn the technology developed by German engineers that transforms biowaste into biocoal as an energy source.

The best option for a nation to give impetus to economic development is to use all its assets to develop renewable energy, Fell said, suggesting that as it transitions to new energy, Taiwan can "make it faster, go stronger" to achieve 100 renewable energy by 2030.

(By Shih Hsiu-chuan)


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