Taipei, March 27 (CNA) Most people in northern Taiwan are against a government plan to reopen and expand the coal-fired Shen’ao Power Plant in New Taipei City, according to a survey released Tuesday by Greenpeace Taiwan.
The poll found that 80 percent of residents in the three northern cities of Taipei, Keelung and New Taipei had not been aware of the plan and that 75 percent of them would not support it.
The biggest concerns cited were health issues, as expressed by 88.7 percent of the residents, carbon emissions (65.2 percent), and destruction of the natural scenery and wildlife habitats (58.9 percent), according the poll.
The survey was conducted by the Taiwan branch of the international environmental organization March 12-15, during the same period that the Environmental Protection Administration was carrying out an environmental impact assessment of the Shen’ao Power Plant project.
Greenpeace Taiwan obtained 1,079 responses from people ages 20 to 64 in the three northern cities. The survey had a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 2.98 percentage points.
Meanwhile, Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德) told reporters Tuesday that the plant will use advanced equipment, including two ultra-supercritical generators, and “much cleaner” coal to minimize carbon emissions.
He said the government’s decision to expand the coal-fired Shen’ao Power Plant does not alter its long-term goal of reducing coal-fired electricity to 30 percent nationwide by 2025 and that he will take full responsibility if it falls short.
The government on March 14 decided to approve an expasion project to the Shen’ao plant to meet electricity demand in northern Taiwan, which generates 34 percent of the total produced nationwide but uses 40 percent, according to Lai.
(By Kuan-lin Liu, Wu Hsin-yun, Justin Su and Chen Chun-hua)