TAIPEI (The China Post/ANN) – The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) on Jan. 31 unveiled an evaluation report regarding the government’s overall renewable energy policy, which was heavily criticized the following day by the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) legislators for being contrary to public views.
The MOEA stipulated in its reports that the government won’t delay the planned decommissioning of current nuclear power plants nor will it open the fourth nuclear plant as a result. Still, authorities aim to reduce the electricity production of coal-fired plants by 1 percent year-on-year within the next two-year despite the results of the Nov. 24 referendums.
Even though several propositions to fight air pollution and halt the decommissioning of nuclear plants were successfully passed during the aforesaid referendums, the MOEA announced in its reports that it wouldn’t have to make up for the capacity shortage of coal-fired plants. The nuclear plants will be decommissioned with no plans of reopening them as the government now focuses on the development of renewable energy, the MOEA said.
KMT Legislator Johnny Chiang said the current energy ratio has not been changed in the government’s new policy, which was brought about only to respond to the public opposition amid votes to cancel the government’s previous energy schemes, neglecting the voice of about 6 to 7 million voters.
What’s more? Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) still believes that the renewable energy plans will meet the overall electricity demands while the MOEA expressed concerns about possible shortages in 2021. “Isn’t this a slap on his face,” Chiang said.
The legislator asked if Premier Su is responsible for the so-called “new energy policy” and wondered why the premier did not address the issue publicly. He also questioned the decision to let the minister of economic affairs announce it.
Chiang also criticized the “new energy policy” for being brought into play only after the announcement on the controversial changes in the feed-in tariff (FIT) rates, a shred of evidence that the government policy on renewable energy is clogged by wind-power developers, he said.
KMT Legislator John Wu added the MOEA’s actions are greatly at odds with the results of the referendums and demanded that Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) steps down if the government insisted in taking sides against the public. He doubted if the public would accept the government’s reckless decisions and called on Premier Su to be held accountable.
The legislator stressed that the majority made its stance clear on anti-air-pollution by telling the government to reduce thermal electricity by 1 percent each year, so the government should, therefore, maintain a balance in energy supply before any price hikes, rather than giving constant excuses.
Legislator Chen Yi-ming pointed out that the “new energy policy” shows that the three major concerns among the public — power shortages, increase in electricity prices, and air pollution1 percent — will not be fixed, lambasting the government as imprudent and not down-to-earth. The consequences of power shortages over the island will ultimately strike enterprises and citizens, Chen added.