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Green power gains popularity in Taiwan

More than 1,200 business and individual users in Taiwan have committed to purchasing nearly 14 million kilowatt-hours of green power as part of a national sustainability strategy implemented by the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Under the Pilot Program for Voluntary Purchase of Green Power rolled out at the beginning mid-2014, 784 million kwh of renewable electricity are available for purchase this year at an additional cost of NT$1.06 (US$0.03) per unit.

“The results so far have exceeded our annual goal of 10 million kwh,” an MOEA official said June 9. “Compared with the 4.35 million kwh of purchases by 531 users last year, the growth is really significant.”

According to the official, such purchases will slash carbon emissions and help boost a national fund for promoting development of sustainable energy.

MOE statistics reveal that the top three local business purchasers this year are Chi Mei Corp., 1.5 million kwh; Corning Display Technologies Taiwan Co. Ltd., 1.4 million kwh; and state-backed Industrial Technology Research Institute, 1.04 million kwh.

In the case of Chi Mei’s 1.5 million kwh, this equates to 783,000 kilograms of carbon dioxide, or the amount that can be absorbed by 78,000 trees in a year.

In addition to the private sector, an increasing number of environmental groups and nongovernmental organizations are showing support for the initiative. These include Greenpeace Taiwan and Taiwan Green Productivity Foundation.

Although pleased with early response to the initiative, the MOEA said purchases account for less than 2 per cent of available green power, citing higher costs as a major user concern.

“We will introduce more specific measures to encourage participation in the program,” the official said. “It is important for all segments of society to equally shoulder the responsibility of making Taiwan a clean and green homeland. 

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