TSMC recognized for its push toward renewables

By Kuan-lin Liu, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Minister of Economic Affairs Lee Chih-Kung (李世光) awarded Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) with the “Corporate Foresight Award” at a green energy award ceremony on Tuesday, Dec. 13. This is the second year in a row that TSMC has been the largest consumer of green energy in the country, which has made the company one of the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ (MOEA) great allies in promoting the ministry’s “Pilot Program for Voluntary Purchase of Green Energy.”

Given that the pilot program is due to end this year and the Electricity Act is under revision at the Legislative Yuan, this award ceremony is extremely timely to recognize the eco-friendly initiative that many Taiwanese companies have promoted over the past year. A Wide Range of Eco-friendly Businesses In his opening remarks, Legislative Yuan Secretary-General Lin Chih-chia (林志嘉) noted that the path toward a greener Taiwan “requires sacrifices.”

These sacrifices were evident in the many steps that private sector companies took over the past year to conserve power.

Honorees included Chunghwa Telecom, Eva Airways Corporation and Louisa Coffee, as well as a wide range of different companies and organizations, all of whom received awards from the MOEA.

In the three years since the pilot program began, the MOEA has seen an increase in the amount of renewable energy sold and the number of households and other entities purchasing renewable energy.

According to the MOEA’s Bureau of Energy, the increase has been from 4.345 million kWh sold and 531 buyers in the latter half of 2014 when the program was implemented to 270 million kWh sold and 7091 buyers as of Dec. 8, 2016.

Lee disclosed that his own household of two had bought 200 kWh of renewable energy, averaging around 1200 kWh for the year. Taiwan’s Greener future With the pilot program coming to an end, Director General of the Bureau of Energy Lin Chuang-neng (林全能) pointed to the Electricity Act as a potential way to promote the purchase and usage of renewable energy in Taiwan.

Revisions to the act will soon be under review at the Legislative Yuan, and though Lin did not comment on the likelihood of the revisions passing, he did say that should the revisions pass preliminary review, there would be a chance to complete a third reading before the Lunar New Year.

To achieve Taiwan’s 2025 deadline for the phasing out of nuclear power, Lee pointed to a two-year solar energy initiative and a four-year wind energy initiative as other ways to accelerate the development of a renewable energy market in the country.