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Latest Energy Poll: Taiwan’s Public Supportive of Renewable Energy Development with Opposition Placed on Thermal Power and Fourth Nuclear Power Plant

published: 2021-07-07 9:30

The results of the “2021 Survey by the National Renewable Wind Energy Team” recently published by the Taiwan Social Innovation and Sustainable Development Association (TSISDA) indicate that the public is highly receptive to the idea of renewable energy, where 80.8% supports the government in fully implementing the development of green power, and 73% is in favor of the government establishing a Taiwanese offshore wind team. However, over 60% of the public is also concerned about a crisis of power outage.

Despite being supportive of green energy, a large segment of the public is uncertain about the status of the wind power industry currently propelled by the government. As indicated by the survey results of Trend Polls commissioned by the TSISDA, 58.6% of the public does not know that the government has invested more than billions in the renewable energy industry, and 57.8% does not understand that most of the wind power infrastructures in Taiwan are handled by foreign companies. Only 40% of the survey participants ticked “yes” to the two aforementioned questions.

Among these, over 62% worry that a long-term supply on wind power services by foreign companies will create negative effects, and a whopping 81% agrees on the government cultivating relevant domestic industries, while 73% is in favor of the government establishing a national offshore wind power team.

The “Power Shortage Awareness” section of the survey had a relatively pessimistic response. 65% of the public worries that power outages will occur in the future, followed by 29% that is not concerned. The public is comparatively opposed to traditional thermal power generation and nuclear energy, and over half of the public is not in favor of establishing the third LNG terminal and a continuous use of thermal power generation. Most of the survey participants oppose the re-initiation of the Lungmen Nuclear Power Plant.

According to the survey, Taiwan’s state-run oil company CPC, which is coordinating with the transformation of energy policy from the government, is planning to establish the third LNG terminal in Guantang, Taoyuan, though the damages to the algal reef in Datan have resulted in opposition from environmental groups. 50.5% of the public opposed the establishment of the third LNG terminal at the algal reef area of Datan, with 23.2% in favor, and 26.3% indifferent.

Most supporters of the political parties DPP and NPP are in favor of the third LNG terminal, whereas most supporters of the KMP and TPP are not in favor of the particular establishment.

Thermal power, as pointed out by the survey, accounts for 80% of the electricity generated in Taiwan, though it has been regarded as the primary source of air pollution by residents in central Taiwan. Regarding the question of using thermal power as the main power generation for Taiwan, 60.0% of the public is not in favor of a continuous implementation, followed by 28.6%  in favor, and 11.4% indifferent.

Pertaining to the fourth nuclear power plant, the survey indicates that Taiwan may experience a crisis of power outage if gas-fired power generation is not properly implemented since the first nuclear plant has been decommissioned, and now the second nuclear power plant is also expected for an early decommission. Some are in favor of reinitiating the fourth nuclear plant in order to ensure power supply, while others are saying that Taiwan should be marching towards zero nuclear. 45% of the public opposes the reinitiating of nuclear power, and 42.4% is in favor. The ratio of opposition is higher, though a stalemate is also seen at the same time. In terms of the preferences of the parties, most supporters of the DPP and NPP are not in favor of the fourth nuclear power plant, while most supporters of the KMP and TPP are in favor of reinitiating it.

Judging by the survey, the public opposes the establishment of another LNG terminal, and does not want to continue using thermal power;  they are also bearing concern on the reinitiating of the fourth power nuclear plant, even though they are also worried about a crisis of power outage. The survey suggests that the continuous promotion and propaganda on the perception regarding the development of green power can be prioritized on the age group of 50-59.

As most citizens agree withthe government’s plan to cultivate related local industries under this present opportunity, the survey also advises the government to reinforce the stipulation and implementation of relevant policies, especially seeing as how the public is still unsure of the wind power industry in Taiwan regardless of government budget and current developments, which shows that a drastic improvement is needed for promotion.

Trend Polls unfolded the “2021 Survey by the National Renewable Wind Energy Team” telephone poll from May 13th to 15th to understand the perception of the public on energy policy and the offshore wind power industry in Taiwan. The poll targeted those who are over 20 years of age and are currently residing in Taiwan, and produced 1,068 effective samples, with a 95% confidence level, as well as a sampling error of ±3%.

(Cover photo source: Flickr/Jeanne MenjouletCC BY 2.0)


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