Voice of the People, Bridge to the World. »
AmCham calls for effective public communication on energy policy
Central News Agency
2014-06-05 11:04 PM
Taipei, June 5 (CNA) The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Taipei on Thursday urged Taiwan's government to present the public and business community with a clear roadmap on how it plans to ensure sufficient energy supply. In its 2014 White Paper, AmCham said it recognizes the high degree of concern in Taiwan about nuclear safety, especially after the Fukushima disaster in Japan, and the chamber does not consider itself a proponent of nuclear power. But the reality is that nuclear energy currently accounts for 19 percent of Taiwan's power generation -- half the level of two decades ago, but still sizable -- and the fourth nuclear power plant in Longmen was counted on to satisfy projected growth in consumption, the paper said. Without the new fourth plant, it would be almost impossible -- without grave damage to the economy and inconvenience to power users -- to close down Taiwan's existing three nuclear plants as they reach the end of their scheduled lifecycles, according to the paper. "No ideal solution exists to Taiwan's energy challenge," AmCham said. The chamber added that renewable sources such as solar and wind power should definitely be promoted, but they can never make up a major portion of Taiwan's energy mix because "the sun does not shine or wind blow all the time." Since it can take up to a decade or more to plan, design, and construct a power plant, Taiwan cannot afford to wait much longer before finalizing concrete strategies for future power development, AmCham said. Under these circumstances, Taiwan will need a balanced combination of fuel sources, including a continuing contribution from nuclear energy for some time to come, the chamber said. "To help citizens understand the potential consequences of the energy decisions Taiwan will have to make, the government will need to engage in more effective public communication, especially in laying out the possible alternatives and their ramifications as clearly and objectively as possible," AmCham suggested. Amid mounting public pressure, the Taiwan government announced on April 27 that it had decided to suspend construction of the controversial fourth nuclear power plant until a referendum on the continued use of nuclear power is held. In phasing out nuclear power, Taiwan may face a 10 to 15 percent increase in electricity rates in 2018 when the first nuclear power plant is scheduled to be shut down, and another 10 to 15 percent rise in 2021 when the second plant is retired, according to a research note released April 28 by Swiss bank Credit Suisse Group AG. (By Jeffrey Wu)
Advertisement »
HOME |  WORLD |  Politics |  Business |  Sports |  TAIWAN |  Technology |  Health |  Society |  OPINION |  E-Paper
  • Taiwan News  ©  2016 All Rights Reserved.