2 days before Ghost Month, Taiwan approves solar panels in cemeteries

Taiwan MOI approves use of solar panels in cemeteries 2 days before Ghost Month begins

Solar panels on cemetery in Spain.

Solar panels on cemetery in Spain. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- The Ministry of Interior (MOI) yesterday (Aug. 9) cleared the way for the installation of solar panels in public cemeteries, reported CNA, oddly two days before the start of Taiwan's annual Ghost Month (鬼月).

The MOI reported yesterday that the draft amendment to the Regulations on Non-urban Land Use Control had been passed. Given that there has been a year-on-year decline in the burial rate, it was decided that cemetery land could be added to plans to help Taiwan become nuclear free by 2025.

Based on existing regulations, 14 categories of sites can be used for the installation of renewable energy facilities in industries such as agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry, aquaculture, salt mining, ceramics, transportation, water conservancy, recreation and homeland security.

The MOI said that in order to promote the diversification of the utilization of existing public cemetery land and expand the planning of renewable energy power generation facilities, cemetery land will be made available to solar photoelectric power generation industries. Installation of such facilities would require the consent of cemetery authorities directly under the central government, involved businesses, and relevant authorities.

The MOI pointed out that the amendment will enable the solar photovoltaic power generation facilities to be developed in existing cemeteries to facilitate the diversified use of land resources and increase the rate of renewable energy generation.

The timing of the announcement just before the start of Ghost Ghost is likely a coincidence, but there are numerous taboos that would go into effect with the first day of the 7th month of the lunisolar calendar, which this year is Aug. 11. On that day, the gates of hell are opened for a full month for hungry ghosts to roam the world of the living in search of food, money, entertainment, and possibly souls.

Cemeteries are considered highly dangerous at night during that period, but because solar panels would only be installed during the day and only used during the day, there may not be that much of a chance of having a ghoulish gaffe after all.