Taiwan’s energy supply top concern for international companies: AmCham poll

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Taipei, Jan 19 (CNA) According to a survey released by the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan (AmCham Taiwan), the majority of international companies in Taiwan believe that ensuring stable and sustainable power generation should be the government’s top priority. central.

At a Wednesday morning press conference, AmCham Taiwan President Vincent Shih (施立成) attributed rising member concerns to two island-wide power outages in May 2021 and skepticism about the feasibility of government plans to phase out nuclear power by 2025.

Unease about Taiwan’s energy environment has risen dramatically among international businesses, with 77.85 percent of 178 AmCham Taiwan members surveyed expressing concern about the future of Taiwan’s electricity supply, which is on the rise. 15% compared to the previous year.

Around 61% agreed that the government should prioritize energy sustainability for the rest of its term.

2021 blackouts

Growing energy anxiety appears to be partly driven by the Taiwan Power Company’s (Taipower) imposition of continuous blackouts on May 13-17, 2021.

State-owned Taipower blamed the outages on an outage at the Hsinta power plant in Kaohsiung city, southern Taiwan, and an increase in electricity demand.

The incidents affected more than four million homes across the island and sparked public concern over sufficient and stable power supply in the country.

Meanwhile, the trade organization’s survey, which was conducted between December 1, 2021 and January 7, 2022, also noted that uncertainty in the weeks leading up to last December’s referendums related to energy sources may have heightened respondents’ apprehensions.

Nearly 40% expressed concern “to some extent” or “to a great extent” that the government’s denuclearization goal might impact their business and affect their future expansion in Taiwan, an increase nearly 10% over the previous year.

However, 25.75% of them said the policy would not affect their operations.

About 74% of respondents expressed concern about the country’s progress towards alternative energy, the AmCham chairman said, noting that the share of renewables in the country’s power generation mix remained low.

The government could consider providing more incentives to encourage businesses to embrace green energy or invest in the alternative energy industry, Shih added.

Current energy policies

In addition to phasing out nuclear power, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has also pledged, a year into her first term in 2017, to increase the percentage of renewables in the mix. energy of the country to 20% by 2025.

In a recent radio interview, however, Economic Affairs Minister Wang Mei-hua (王美花) acknowledged that renewable energy supply could only be increased to 15.27% by 2025, suggesting that the government would not achieve its objective.

Wang said demand for electricity has increased significantly in recent years following the country’s better-than-expected economic growth and increased investment in Taiwan by foreign companies as well as semiconductors.

According to data from the Energy Bureau, renewable energy accounted for 5.5% of Taiwan’s energy mix in 2020. Meanwhile, coal-fired electricity and natural gas accounted for 44.9% and 35.7%, respectively. % of electricity supply.

Optimistic about the Taiwanese economy

Amid strong demand for Taiwanese exports, the group’s survey also indicated a high level of optimism among AmCham member companies regarding Taiwan’s economic prospects.

More than 87% of respondents expressed confidence in Taiwan’s economic growth over the next 12 months, and those who said they were “very confident” in the island’s prospects hit an all-time high of 45.51 %, according to Shih.

Meanwhile, nearly 83 of those polled were positive about the country’s economic outlook over the next three years, an increase of nearly 5% from 2021.

Pandemic control and cross-Strait relations also ranked among the priorities of a majority of companies surveyed by AmCham Taiwan, which represents 1,050 members of more than 500 international companies.

(By Teng Pei-ju)

End article/ASG

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