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March 28, 2013

No More Nuclear, Says Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party



Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)—a center-left political faction and the dominant party in the Pan-Green Coalition—is planning to deploy renewable energy in select cities and regions in order to mitigate dependence on nuclear energy.

According to The China Post, under the proposal, which was sponsored by former Premier Frank Hsieh, the Democratic Progressive Party will promote solar power in the south and geothermal energy in the north as a step toward a “nuclear-free homeland.”

Taiwan is highly capable of abandoning nuclear generation—in part, because nuclear power accounts for a relatively low percentage of Taiwan's energy portfolio, opined DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang at a meeting this week.

According to Lin Ching-fuh of National Taiwan University's Department of Electrical Engineering, as a major producer of green technologies, Taiwan already has the hardware capabilities to go nuclear-free. He was especially optimistic about the prospects for solar power. As research and development advances, he said, the cost-per-watt of solar power continues to spiral downward.

DPP Chairman Su concurred, noting that it is possible that solar power can be cheaper than nuclear power in as little as five years. Solar power currently accounts for just 0.07 percent of Taiwan's total energy portfolio, so there is huge potential for growth, he said.

According to the Democratic Progressive Party, the Taiwan Power Co. has deliberately hindered Taiwan's move toward renewable energy. The state utility, which has a long-term monopoly on the energy market, is a major shaper of Taiwan's energy policy.

“Tai Power is intent on pushing nuclear energy even in the face of a controversy,” stated Su. However, the DPP is drafting amendments to the Electricity Act— which regulates Taiwan's power production, distribution and management — for a legislative vote.




Edited by Brooke Neuman

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