On December 27, 2018, the Research Center for Taiwan Economic Development (RCTED) in National Central University (NCU) announced the latest Taiwan Energy Security Indicator (TESI) figure. The TESI at the 3rd quarter in 2018 was 70.6 points, up by 6.1 points from 2Q18. According to Chi-Yuan Liang from RCRED, the major reason for the growth was that Taiwan's unit 2 of 2nd nuclear power plant already began to get parallel connection and generate electricity.
RCTED pointed out that in 2017, Taiwan's energy performance (EnP) took the 62th place in the 128 countries' ranking.
Liang noted that the unit 2 reactivation remarkably raised the reserve margin and operating reserve. Meanwhile, it reduced the necessary amount of fuel for natural gas power generation, and increased natural gas's safety stock.
However, RCTED expressed that there are three key indicators worthy of our attention: Taiwan energy's infrastructure, energy supply, and energy consumption structure.
For the infrastructure, when nuclear power plants are decommissioned, the rest of power categories might take higher share of total power generation. However, the gap might not be able to be made up by non-nuclear power. In other words, Taiwan energy supply might not be sufficient. In addition, Taiwan electricity's area load has not been even. In Northern Taiwan, the summer electricity supply has not been enough. If electricity generated in Central Taiwan is not transmitted to Northern Taiwan, the power supply in the North will be tighter.
According to RCTED, regarding energy supply, we have to pay attention to geopolitical uncertainty and international energy price fluctuation. Speaking of energy consumption structure, in the past, Taiwan's renewable energy was only hydroelectric power. In comparison, in recent years, portions of solar power and wind power generation have been moved up. The average cost of domestic renewable energy generation is steadily rising. In the future, we need to improve energy efficiency and diversify energy consumption structure.
Liang said, in 3Q18, TESI implied that Taiwan's primary energy supply security kept on improving because imported energy sources were diversified, and energy source countries' political risks were smaller.
As nuclear power generation takes higher share, the concentration ratio for power portfolio has dropped. This factor reduced necessary fuel for natural gas power generation. Liang suggested that the government should keep the diversified power demand structure and ensure energy supply is stable.