December 9, 2022
What is Taiwan's Energy Consumption?
Taiwan, one of the most highly developed economies on the globe, is at a crossroads! It is faced with an energy dilemma, which is threatening it with a danger of rapid slowdown amidst emerging global dynamics. Its huge energy consumption and strong reliance on fossil fuel imports have exposed its vulnerabilities, especially to the global geopolitics being experienced in recent years. So, is there a solution to the ‘energy crisis in Taiwan?’ Keep reading for insights into Taiwan’s energy consumption metrics, challenges facing the island nation, and energy saving solutions.
Taiwan Energy Consumption Metrics
Taiwan has one of the highest energy consumption rates across the globe. Annually, the island nation consumes 237.40 billion kWh, which translates to approximately 10,068 kWh/ capita energy consumption. Notably, most of the energy is produced in Taiwan's facilities which have a total capacity of 246 billion kWh, exceeding the domestic demand by about 4%.
Although small compared to other nations, such as South Korea, Australia, and the US, Taiwan's highly industrialised economy places it within the same energy consumption range. For example, Taiwan's per capita energy consumption of 10,068 kWh comes close to that of the United States, which is 11,756.7 kWh/ capita.
Notably, the consumption trends and the impacts from the global dynamics on Taiwan are different compared to the US. As we are going to see, Taiwan is mainly reliant on crude oil imported from the Middle East, while the US has significant oil and gas deposits. This is why Taiwan should craft new and robust energy saving solutions.
The Shifting Global Energy Dynamics and Taiwan’s Dilemma
The numbers we have highlighted above demonstrate that at one moment, Taiwan requires a lot of energy to run its industrial economy. However, the country has to look ahead to be able to sustain its growth and success as a business hub. The emerging dynamics, particularly driven by sustainability principles, are putting Taiwan into a major dilemma: should it stick to the current model of relying on fossil fuel and nuclear or jump to green energy?
Here are some of the complexities of this dilemma, which highlight the importance of crafting a reliable energy saving solution in Taiwan:
Taiwan’s Strong Reliance on Imported Fossil Fuels
Taiwan imports almost all the fuel used for powering its economy. This has exposed it to regular energy market shifts at the global level. Recently, volatility has intensified in the global oil-producing regions, particularly Middle-East and East Europe, where conflicts appear to have no end in sight. Some of these conflicts include wars in Iraq, Syria, Israel & Gaza, Russia & Ukraine, and North Africa. Taiwan will have to deal with these shifting dynamics, which could impact its global competitiveness.
Another complexity with Taiwan's energy consumption is the long-term prospects. As the momentum to shift from fossil fuels increases, the demand for petroleum is likely to reduce, resulting in the need to diversify revenue generation for oil exporters. As a result, Taiwan's energy security future could be at risk unless it shifts to clean energy.
The Shift from Nuclear Power
Globally, concerns for nuclear energy have seen many countries opt away from it and select cleaner alternatives. After years of huge focus on nuclear energy, Taiwan is now different after electing a new President, Tsai Ing-wen, in 2016. Tsai is committed to helping Taiwan navigate away from nuclear energy and avoid major disasters, such as the infamous Chernobyl Disaster, by 2025. Although this method has received support from global leaders, "will it be ample to achieve significant power saving and drive the hugely industrial economy?”
The new Taiwan government's policy is leveraged on energy targets of USD48 billion. Already, Taiwan Power has announced it is commencing a green energy power project of USD 17 billion. The government of Taiwan is also working on cutting down the monopoly of energy supply, which has made it lag behind in exploring alternative energy options. If implemented well, this move could become a good turning point for the island.
Energy Saving Solutions for Taiwan
As we have highlighted, Taiwan is a country facing myriads of energy challenges, and it requires clear policy guidelines and political commitment. The policy has to ensure that every party is involved to support and achieve energy saving goals. Here are some expert energy saving solutions that can be implemented both at the national, institutional, and corporate levels.
- Shift to Renewable Energy in the Country
This is one of the common energy saving solutions that is used to help countries and companies cut down the cost of operations and reduce carbon footprint. Already, Taiwan has expressed its goal of using solar energy and offshore wind energy as central to its focus on phasing out nuclear energy.
When it comes to exploiting solar energy, Taiwan is strategically positioned to achieve its goal. Every year, Taiwan exports about 1/5 of the global photovoltaic cells. With brands such as E-Ton and Gintech offering an excellent value chain, the country can harness it to quickly set up solar farms to optimise solar energy harvesting.
At the corporate level, companies can also install solar panels as an energy saving solution. The panels can help to power a section of their office, lighting, or the entire facility. This will also come in handy in cutting down greenhouse gases and lowering the cost of operations.
- Adopt the Use of Electric Vehicles
In addition to industries, vehicles also consume a lot of energy in their internal combustion system. Shifting to electric cars can help not only push down the demand for fossil fuels but also the carbon footprint of the country. Although electric car technologies are relatively new, Taiwan can take advantage of this shift to produce enough for the local market and other economies. Already, the island nation produces most semiconductors used in electric cars manufacturing across the globe.
Some good examples of electric cars that companies can use as part of their energy saving strategies include all-electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs.
- Include Sustainability Training in All Sectors
While the Taiwan administration is working hard to get the best energy saving solution at the policy level, all companies need to adopt rhyming operating models. For example, every company or institution in Taiwan should have clear guidelines to cut down carbon footprint. However, it is never easy because some managers and leaders might not be professionals in matters of energy and sustainability. The best strategy is partnering with Climate Fresk, one of the best sustainability coaching organisations on the globe.
Climate Fresk uses the latest study findings and global reports to build skills and help you in making the best sustainability decisions. The experts have helped other successful companies not only with their energy saving goals but also in improving overall sustainability ratings. You can count on Climate Fresk for all the assistance you need for ESG success in Taiwan.
- Encourage the Use of Energy Management Systems in Homes and Offices
Think of the amount of energy that HVAC systems and lighting fixtures in offices use every day, week, month, and year. If your company's HVAC and lighting systems are left on when no one is using them, perhaps overnight or on weekends, a lot of energy will be lost. Sadly, these are common scenarios in many offices, and it is important to get a reliable energy saving solution.
Using smart energy management systems, it is easy to detect when rooms/ offices are occupied or not in use. Then, the smart systems use senses to ensure that no energy will be lost even when employees forget to turn off the lamps. For example, it senses when no one is in the room after work and automatically turns off the lights.
- Shift to Green Building Solutions
Another energy saving solution that Taiwan and companies based there can use is adopting green building designs. If a building is poorly designed, the chances are that it might require lighting and heating all the time, even when there is natural lighting. Therefore, the energy management policy should encourage green building designs, which include features such as:
- Good orientation to optimise the use of natural sun radiation in Taiwan.
- Use of the right building and construction to reduce the danger of harm to house occupants.
- Design that encourages people to use stairs or walk instead of the elevator all the time.
- Designs that include plants in the neighbourhoods, corridors, facades, and indoors.
- Use Advanced Innovations in Improving Energy efficiency
Any energy saving solution will not be complete without factoring in the air conditioning systems. In most buildings, HVAC systems take up to 45% of the energy costs, which makes them a good target for reducing electricity bills. To improve the energy efficiency of your HVAC system, you should start by ensuring it is maintained in good condition. Then, install CONTINEWM.
CONTINEWM is a device installed on the front part of the heat exchanger to help improve the airflow through the system. When a HVAC system is running, there is a lot of resistance to airflow, which is caused by the continuous production of positive electrostatic charge by the moving parts. CONTINEWM works by releasing negative charges that help clear positive charges on the HVAC system. The effect of using CONTINEWM is a smooth flow of air through the HVAC system.
With CONTINEWM as your energy saving solution for the HVAC system, you can cut down the associated electricity bill by up to 50%. The benefits of using CONTINEWM do not stop there. It is easy to install, lasts longer, and requires little to no maintenance.
Taiwan is a global manufacturing and business hub. The jurisdiction has one of the biggest energy consumption rates on the globe, but it is faced with an insecure future for overreliance on fossil fuel imports. This is why the administration has to adopt the best strategies to promote energy saving. Every company and organisation in Taiwan should also join hands to help pull down the high energy consumption rates using the strategies we have listed in this post.