Recent Summit Focuses on Renewable Energy

The importance of renewable energy development to Taiwan’s economic future was spotlighted at the first annual Asia-Pacific Renewable Energy Market Summit held July 9 at the Renaissance Taipei Shilin Hotel. Over 240 participants from around the world gathered to exchange ideas on the future of renewable energy in Taiwan and the greater Asia-Pacific region.

The Summit was organized by the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research. The event was the latest in a series of actions taken by the Taiwan government to affirm its commitment to eco-friendly reform. The past several years have seen the enactment of amendments to the Renewable Energy Development Regulations and the Electricity Law, as well as adoption of a national energy plan calling for major expansion of Taiwan’s renewable installations.

The program featured keynote speeches from Minister without Portfolio Kung Ming-Hsin and Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Lin Chuan-Neng, both addressing the increasing demand for renewable energy, especially in the form of solar energy and offshore wind power.

“Development of renewable energy is critically important for Taiwan,” said Kung. He welcomed the support for that objective being shown by the business community, citing the trend among international brands in Taiwan to seek greater reliance on green energy as a means of pursuing their Corporate Social Responsibility.

CSR was a recurring theme at the summit. Industry leaders noted that by collaborating with the government’s green initiatives, domestic and multinational corporations can help Taiwan’s economy grow in a way that is environmentally responsible while fully meeting the country’s needs for development.

Vice Minister Lin’s speech centered around three major goals for the future of energy development in Taiwan: increasing the supply of renewable energy to 20% of Taiwan’s total energy portfolio by 2025, making sourcing more convenient through the creation of trading platforms and a national certification center, and improving accessibility to renewable energy by lowering costs. Both Ministers expressed their commitment to international collaboration with renewable energy markets around the world.

Another important topic discussed at the Summit was the relatively new Taiwan Renewable Energy Certification (T-REC) market.

“A T-REC is a passport for conducting international trade,” said Huang Chih-Wen, director of the National Renewable Energy Certification Center, since it serves as an “identification card” confirming a corporation’s use of sustainable energy sources. Since the opening of the Center in 2017, over 60,000 T-RECs have been issued based on rigorous facility inspections and a thorough review of documents. As the system becomes increasingly digitized, applications for T-RECs are expected to increase rapidly in the coming years.

Besides the government speakers, specialists from such private organizations as Google, Apple, and CDP (the NGO formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project) also shared their expertise at the Summit. Topics ranged from “Trends in Global Green Energy Supply Chains” to “Taiwan’s Renewable Energy Market Development Vision.”

The Summit brought together participants who have different backgrounds and different perspectives, but are united in their shared goal of a creating a more sustainable future.

“It’s through collaboration that we can share knowledge, share experiences, and accelerate innovation,” said Sam Kimmins, head of RE100, a collaboration platform for companies committed to going 100% renewable. “The world is certainly changing. We’re building an energy system fit for the 21st century.”

Following the resounding success of the 2019 Summit, the 2020 event is scheduled for next spring in Singapore.