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2021-12-01 09:48
Bureau of Energy, Ministry of Economic Affairs

Minister Wang Outlines the 2x2 Framework of Energy Transition from Low-Carbon to Net-Zero Emissions

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Minister Wang Outlines the 2x2 Framework of Energy Transition from Low-Carbon to Net-Zero Emissions
On October 30th, 2021, Vice President Lai Ching-te and Minister of Economic Affairs (MOEA) Wang Mei-hua attended the "2050 Net-Zero Transition: Towards a Green Society" forum organized by the Foundation for Future Generations. In her remarks, Minister Wang stressed that transitioning to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 is not only an environmental issue but also an economic one, and represents both a challenge and an opportunity for Taiwan's competitiveness. She encouraged full participation from the public and private sectors, as well as the general public, while emphasizing that the government will not leave any group behind on the path to achieve energy transition but will instead look for ways to attain shared prosperity throughout the next three decades' marathon of challenges.

Minister Wang indicated that, given the growing demand for carbon border adjustment mechanisms and green supply chains, carbon emissions will soon become a strong determining factor in industrial competitiveness, posing a tremendous challenge for foreign trade-oriented economies such as Taiwan. This means that any economy that seizes on key emission-cutting innovations will be able to gain a competitive edge. In response to the global trend towards net-zero, Minister Wang asked all departments and agencies of MOEA to integrate the net-zero concept into the philosophies of all governance and implementations. As an example of mobilizing self-transition in the public sector, Minister Wang suggested that offices may examine the connections between their own work and the target of net-zero emissions at weekly internal meetings.

As the head of the authority governing sectors that combine to produce about 75% of Taiwan's carbon emissions, Minister Wang proposed a 2x2 framework for the transition to net zero, which consists of a "low carbon - zero emissions" dimension and an "energy - industries" dimension. Under this plan, the immediate priority is to promote mature technologies in green power generation and carbon reduction as a way to shift industries and their energy consumption to a low-carbon state. In the long run, the industries will invest in advanced technologies, such as hydrogen energy, circular economy, and carbon capture, storage and utilization, to transition from low to zero carbon. Since the launch of energy transition policy in 2016, the MOEA has overcome multiple challenges and increased the installed capacity of renewable energy at a rapid pace. The installed capacity of solar PV has grown more than fourfold in 4 years, and two offshore wind farms have been connected to the grid - a testament to the government's ability of implementing energy transition policies.

"In shifting our energy system from low-carbon to net-zero, it is essential to identify key technologies with the potentials of domestic development and scaling up," Minister Wang stated. "The Ministry has consulted with experts in all energy areas in Taiwan and selected 55 decarbonization technologies that we can potentially develop locally. Besides solar and offshore wind power, focus areas will also include other renewable sources, including geothermal power, which can both cover base loads and be scaled up domestically. Moreover, innovations in energy storage and system integration, which are vital to energy reliability, will also be key focuses in the future."

Regarding industry's transition to net-zero, Minister Wang pointed out that state-owned businesses are the leaders in Taiwan's basic industry sector, and the MOEA has initiated their net-zero transition plans early this year. They are expected to serve as pioneers in their respective industries, rallying downstream suppliers to decarbonize. The MOEA has also convened 32 meetings with industry associations and business leaders since February, asking large corporations to lead by example and chart a net-zero pathway. They are encouraged to influence smaller companies downstream in their supply chains to reduce emissions collaboratively.

Minister Wang has been particularly concerned about the impacts of the net-zero transition on SMEs. She asked large corporations to cooperate with smaller companies throughout supply chains and share best practices and technologies of emission reduction. She also stressed the need to boost the capacity of smaller businesses to conduct emission inventories and determine carbon footprints. In the end, Minister Wang reiterated that, because of the inevitable short-term pains associated with any change, the MOEA will conduct inventory on the impacts of net-zero transition on businesses and the public. The government will do its best to provide aids, so the net-zero future will not leave any group behind. The government will look for fair and just ways for Taiwan to embark on the net zero pathway towards shared prosperity.

Spokesperson for Bureau of Energy, Ministry of Economic Affairs: Deputy Director General, Chun-Li Lee
Phone: 02-2775-7702
Mobile: 0936-250-838
Email: chunlee@moea.gov.tw

Business Contact: Director, Ming-Chih Chuang
Phone number: 02-2775-7710
Mobile: 0936-889-606
Email: mcchuang@moea.gov.tw
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