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Taiwan: Government Plan to Focus on Solar Energy Development

(Aug. 16, 2010) Taiwan's Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) announced on July 21, 2010, that it will support development of the photovoltaic industry ahead of all other forms of alternative energy. The measures it has already formulated to achieve this objective include “attracting more investment in the production of silicon materials, increasing the power efficiency of locally produced solar cells and modules, facilitating the establishment of large-scale PV plants and initiating cross-strait cooperation to obtain a larger share of the global market.” (Meg Chang, CEPD Unveils Plans to Develop Solar Energy, TAIWAN TODAY (July 22, 2010),; Press Release, CEPD, Promotion of Our Country's Solar Photoelectric Industry Development, (July 21, 2010), hmso-bidi-font-family: Shruti”>ttp://
.) Taiwan's Renewable Energy Development Act, promulgated on July 8, 2009, also encourages the development of solar power. (Art. 13, Tsai-sheng neng-yüan fa-chan t'iao-li [Renewable Energy Development Act] [in Chinese], Laws & Regulations Database of the Republic of China, (last visited Aug. 10, 2010).)

The government plans to establish a solar panel “demonstration zone” in Pingtung County, in the southernmost area of Taiwan, to improve local companies' capability of generating solar energy. A CEPD official noted that “very few” solar panels have been set up in Taiwan, even though it is a major PV-cell panel producer. (Chang, supra.)

According to industry statistics, Taiwan ranked fourth in the world in solar panel production in 2008, with the output of its solar energy sector valued at NT$101.1 billion (about US$3.1 billion). The panels constitute over 79% of the local sector's output (the remainder comprises silicon materials and solar cell modules and systems), with panel production garnering 12% of the global market; more than 70% of the output reportedly went to Germany and Spain. (Id.)

In another recent energy-related development, the second phase of a government project, 19 Taiwan firms (12 telecommunications companies and seven home appliance chain stores comprising over 1,700 shops) have voluntarily joined an energy-saving and carbon production program launched by the Bureau of Energy under the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The objective is “to cut electricity use by five percent within three years, conserving 53 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 33,000 metric tons each year, the bureau said.” (Kwangyin Liu, Companies Volunteer to Reduce Carbon Emissions, TAIWAN TODAY (Aug. 10, 2010),