Climate change is as much an environmental issue as it is a national security concern for Taiwan. While Taiwan is not a member of the United Nations, its energy policies are guided by the Paris Climate Accord. Although Taiwan was not even among the top 10 countries for offshore wind in 2017, it is now leading the way in Asia through partnerships with several European companies, which see Taiwan as an entry to the Asian offshore wind power market. Taiwan’s recent push towards renewable energy follows the 2011 Fukushima Disaster in Japan. In the aftermath of that disaster, public opinion in Taiwan shifted dramatically against the use of nuclear power due to its potential danger. President Tsai Ing-wen was elected into office in 2016 on a promise that Taiwan will become “nuclear-free” by 2025.Yet in 2017, the island experienced significant power outages that raised some doubts about the viability of the government’s ambitious plan for Taiwan’s energy future.
The Global Taiwan Institute and co-sponsor, The Sigur Center for Asian Studies at George Washington University, explored the future of Taiwan’s energy.This event was the third installment of the Civil Society and Democracy Series, which is partially funded by the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy.
The panelists discussed Taiwan’s policy and opportunities in sustainable energy, how it will impact the Asia-Pacific region, and what it means for US interests. The panel of experts included: Wen-Yu Weng,l ow-carbon energy and sustainability consultant at the Carbon Trust in the UK (speaking on her own behalf), Clara Gillispie, Senior Director of Trade, Economic, and Energy Affairs at the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR), and Lotta Danielsson, Vice President of the US-Taiwan Business Council.