On June 12 the Legislative Yuan passed a renewable energy act aimed at promoting the use of renewable energy, boosting energy diversification, and helping reduce greenhouse gases. The new law authorizes the government to enhance incentives for the development of renewable energy via a variety of methods, including the acquisition mechanism, incentives for demonstration projects, and the loosening of regulatory restrictions. The goal is to increase Taiwan’s renewable energy generation capacity by 6.5 million kilowatts to 10 million kilowatts within 20 years.
The Bureau of Energy points out that the types of renewable energy covered in the new law include energy that is produced either directly or by processing: solar, biomass, geothermal, ocean, wind, non-pumped-storage hydro, and waste conversion. An approach employing the parallel connection of renewable energy generating facilities to the electricity grid and a guaranteed electricity purchase price will be used to encourage the installation of renewable energy generating equipment and achieve three goals: promotion of the use of renewable energy, protection of the environment, and stimulation of the development of related industries.
The renewable energy acquisition mechanism involves the government’s provision of a reasonable profit for those who install renewal energy generating equipment, along with a requirement for the operator of the electricity grid to provide parallel connections for such generators and for the wholesale of electricity from them. The purchase price, and its method of calculation, will be determined and announced by a committee organized by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and including related ministries and commissions, scholars, experts, and other pertinent groups. The price will be reviewed and adjusted annually.
The government will, for a certain period, provide a subsidy for the procurement of renewable energy generating equipment that has good potential and employs technology in the initial stages of development. Subsidies for the use of solar thermal energy and biofuel will be provided from the Petroleum Fund and Agricultural Development Fund.
In the area of deregulation, renewable energy generating facilities that reach a certain capacity are allowed to apply electricity industry regulations regarding acquisition of land-use rights, usage procedures, and disposition. In addition, land needed for renewable energy generating plants may be acquired under the qualification of a public utility as provided in the Urban Planning Law, the Forestry Act, and the Fisheries Act. Tariff reductions or exemptions may also be applied to equipment imported for the construction and operation of renewable energy facilities, and procedures for the acquisition of necessary licenses will be simplified.