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Taiwan facing power supply insufficiency as reserve margins drop

Taiwan facing power supply insufficiency as reserve margins drop

Taipei, Jan. 26 (CNA) Taiwan runs the risk of power supply insufficiency as the reserve margins of its state-run electricity utility decrease, a senior Bureau of Energy official said Monday. The electricity reserve margin will be lower than 10 percent in 2018 and will further drop to less than 5.4 percent in 2021, said Wu Yu-chen (???), deputy director-general of the bureau, in a report delivered at a national energy conference organized by the Ministry of Economic Affairs. In the report, Wu pointed out that Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) had assessed margin reserves of 16.3 percent in 2014, although the actual figure stood at 14.7 percent. This was not just lower than Taipower's target of 15 percent, but also indicates that the company has underestimated the peak load, which reached 435,000 kilowatt hours last year, Wu said. Furthermore, she continued, although there was a 14.7 percent reserve margin in 2014, the power supply allowance at one point fell to 3.44 percent Sept. 15 that year because of several unexpected factors, including persistent high temperatures and a temporary shutdown of generators by power plants in southern Taiwan following a series of gas explosions in Kaohsiung in late July and early August. "The incidents were all unexpected," Wu said, noting that if the reserve margin was set at 10 percent for the future, Taiwan would not be able to maintain a stable power supply when accidents strike. "We will just suffer from a lack of power," she said. In her report, Wu asked all walks of life to think about whether they should agree to let operating nuclear power plants keep running, even when they are about to be decommissioned. Taiwan's three nuclear power plants are scheduled to be decommissioned one after another in the eight-year period between 2018 and 2025. The almost-completed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei has been mothballed due to politic outcry. (By Huang Chiao-wen and Elizabeth Hsu)


Updated : 2021-09-22 22:21 GMT+08:00