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Low carbon conference in Tainan

On 9 September, the ECCT's Low Carbon Initiative (LCI) jointly hosted 2016 Tainan-ECCT Low Carbon Green Energy Sustainability City Conference in Tainan. The full-day conference was arranged to exchange ideas and best practices on government policies and new technologies aimed at speeding up the transition to a low carbon society and boosting economic development at the same time. The forum featured three sessions covering topics including renewable energy visions for the EU and Taiwan, policies and strategies to develop and promote renewable energy and how to reduce carbon emissions in industry, among other subjects. The event was attended by around 300 people from industry, government, research institutes and NGOs.


Guests of honour
Yen Chun-tso, Deputy Mayor, Tainan City Government
Freddie Höglund, CEO, European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan
Chen Man-li, Legislator, Legislative Yuan
Jane Hui-ching, Counselor/Executive Secretary, Greenhouse Reduction Management Office, Environmental Protection Administration (EPA)
Viktoria Lövenberg, Deputy Head, European Economic and Trade Office (EETO)Speakers
Chen Ling-hui, Deputy Director-General, Bureau of Energy (BoE), Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA)
Jane Hui-ching, Counselor/Executive Secretary, Greenhouse Reduction Management Office, EPA
Raoul Kubitschek, PV Business Director, wpd
Yin Shi-xi, Deputy Director-General, Economic Development Department, Tainan City Government
Chen Ling-hui, Deputy Director-General, BoE, MoEA
Yu Tong-tao, General Manager, Philips Lighting
Zhou Heng-hao, General Manager, Hengs Technology
Su Yung-fu, Deputy Director, Construction Management Division, Southern Taiwan Science Park, Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST)
Yang Shui-ding, Department Manager, TSMC
Kung Po-chen, Business Vice President, Schneider Electric Taiwan
Angus Huang, Sales Director, GrundfosModerators
Yin Shi-xi, Deputy Director-General, Economic Development Department, Tainan City Government
Chen Man-li, Legislator, Legislative Yuan

Opening remarks
In his opening remarks Deputy Mayor Yen said that Tainan city is taking its commitment to tackling climate change seriously. Under the leadership of Tainan City Mayor Lai Ching-de, Tainan has committed to becoming a low carbon city. Taking action is especially urgent since the city is experiencing the real impact of climate change. Like other cities in Taiwan, Tainan has to deal with heavy rain, dengue fever and flood damage from typhoons as well as drought. The shortage of electricity due to extreme heat this summer is a warning sign that we have to make changes now for the sake of future generations. While the authority of the Tainan city government is limited, the city is working hard and making progress every year in terms of energy saving and implementing low carbon solutions. According to the deputy mayor, since 2012, the city has invested a total of NT$4.88 billion and cut annual per capita carbon emissions from 15.13 tonnes to 12.49 tonnes.

In his speech ECCT CEO Höglund pointed out that the conference was just the latest in a series of ongoing collaborations between the ECCT and the Tainan City Government that demonstrates a shared commitment to low carbon development. Referring to the so-called Paris agreement, which was negotiated at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in Paris and has been signed by the leaders of some 190 countries, he said that the European Union's goals go beyond those of any other region. The EU is on track to cut emissions to 20% below 1990 levels by 2020 and has committed to increase this to 40% by 2030, as well as get 27% of energy from renewables and improve energy efficiency by at least 27%. He said that the ECCT welcomed the Taiwan government's commitment following the passage in 2015 of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction & Management Act that committed Taiwan to a reduction in emissions to 50% below 2005 levels by 2050 and, more recently, to increasing renewable-based electricity generation to 20% of total generation by 2025. He went on to say that reaching the carbon reduction goals will require a major effort on the part of all stakeholders – government, energy providers, industry and the general public. He acknowledged Tainan City Mayor Lai Ching-de's commitment and actions to make Tainan a low carbon city through constructing green buildings, solar  and hydro-electric power projects and redeveloping an area of the city into Taiwan's first low carbon model community.

In her remarks Legislator Chen Man-li said that Taiwan could learn a lot from Europe in terms of low carbon solutions, particularly those related to renewable energy. She said that Taiwan should take advantage of the "gifts of nature", the sun and the wind to increase renewable energy and that we need to support the drive towards renewable energy. Taiwan could also learn from cities like Singapore, which have a climate similar to Taiwan.

In her remarks Jane Hui-ching said that the objective of reducing Taiwan's carbon emissions was shared by the government and the legislature, which have committed to promoting green industry in Taiwan. She added that is important to think long term and make plans for the future and to increase cooperation with Europe.

In her remarks Viktoria Lövenberg said that 2016 was a pivotal year following Cop21, in which global leaders agreed to cap the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2° Celsius and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5° C above pre-industrial levels. Given the ever more drastic effects of climate change, we need to take action now. She noted that Taiwan's passage of the Greenhouse Gas and Reduction Management Act was a positive first step and that she hoped that Taiwan would continue to develop renewable energy, improve energy efficiency, set reasonable energy prices, improve building codes and create an enabling environment for green business.

Session 1

Topic: Vision for renewable energy development in Taiwan
Speaker: Chen Ling-hui, Deputy Director-General, Bureau of Energy (BoE), Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA) 
Chen noted that Taiwan has perfect conditions for several types of energy, especially solar and wind.
She went on to outline the BoE's targets for wind and solar energy. Targets for renewable energy have been raised considerably from 8% of capacity to 20% of capacity by 2025, including 20 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity. Initial targets for wind energy are much more modest – only around 1.2GW by 2020 and around 5GW by 2025, including onshore and offshore wind. The promotion and roll-out of smart metres is aimed at getting consumers to reduce energy and shift some consumption to off-peak hours. Besides reducing Taiwan's carbon emissions, the ambitious goals also aim to spur industry development. Chen said that the BoE would welcome input from stakeholders on future plans and cooperation with Europe in developing new renewable technology such as marine or wave power.

Topic: Taiwan's green energy policies and strategies
Speaker: Jane Hui-ching, Counselor/Executive Secretary, Greenhouse Reduction Management Office, Environmental Protection Administration (EPA)
The speaker gave an overview of the EPA's policy and strategies aimed at lowering carbon emissions and promoting green energy in the face of climate change. Referring to research conducted by the International Energy Agency, she noted that great progress can be achieved if the right actions are taken.
Besides increasing the use of solar and wind power in Taiwan, much more could be done in the area of converting food and animal waste into biogas.

Topic: Renewables as a tool for bringing the community closer and building a local value chain – European experience
Speaker: Raoul Kubitschek, PV Business Director, wpd
The speaker explained that the drive to increase renewables in Germany was much more of a grassroots effort than one driven by the government. The real push and pull was from communities, which play an active role as owners of renewable energy projects. He noted that Tainan's renewable energy target, particularly for solar energy is very ambitious but will be very difficult to meet without a change in local laws, the joint efforts of many ministries and local governments and the participation of local communities. While Taiwan, and Tainan especially, is an ideal location for solar energy, the power grid has to be adapted from focusing on large power plants to accommodate many small solar installations spread over wide areas. However, as Germany has demonstrated, it is possible to make this change. He noted that Germany's largest utilities have abandoned nuclear and coal to concentrate on renewables. Besides the environmental benefits, renewable energy requires maintenance teams to be nearby, thereby creating local jobs. Energy Service Companies (ESCO) can offer a business model that benefits local communities by providing renewable electricity as well as income to local residents.

The government can expedite the process by pre-approving locations for solar energy and making the application process simpler. Kubitschek said that 150 regions in Germany have signed up to the 100% renewables initiative, and aim to get 100% of their energy needs from renewables. The project, which was started by Germany's EPA and has since been taken over by University Kassel, offers a support network to guide participants on how to achieve the 100% renewable objective.

Germany also offers useful experience for Taiwan. For example, if a city does not have enough space to install its own wind turbines, it can cooperate with outlying regions. Germany makes it very easy for individuals to join cooperatives. There are numerous renewable energy cooperatives which require an investment of just €500 to join. This makes it very easy for local communities to support the development of renewables and earn an income from the electricity generated.

Topic: Tainan - A low carbon city
Speaker: Yin Shi-xi, Deputy Director-General, Economic Development Department, Tainan City Government
Yin said that Tainan is ahead of other cities in the drive to reduce carbon emissions but acknowledged that the city has only just begun to take advantage of its ideal location to expand renewable energy capacity. Efforts are being stepped up through the development of low carbon areas of the city.

Session 2

Moderator: Liu shih-chung, Deputy Secretary-General Tainan City Government

Topic: The development of innovative green energy technologies
Speaker: Chen Ling-hui, Deputy Director-General, BoE, MoEA
If Taiwan is to meet its carbon reduction targets it will need innovative green energy. The MoEA has allocated a budget of NT$2 billion to be allocated evenly to energy saving and green energy R&D. Authorities have already decided to support the installation of smart meters and integrated home systems and set a target to install smart meters in three million households.

Topic: Light beyond illumination
Speaker: Eric Yu (Tong-tao), General Manager, Philips Lighting
Philips is a leading global lighting supplier, and was a pioneer of LED technology. Market growth is being driven by the need for more light, more efficiency and more digital light. Just over half of the world's population lives in cities and this will rise to two thirds within the next few decades. LED lights reduce energy use by up to 80% compared to traditional light bulbs. Light fixtures also have the potential to be major components of IoT. In 2012 Philips introduced "City Touch" lighting system now used on 33 highways whereby smart lights know when to stay on longer and when to switch off, the amount of energy they are using and when they need to be repaired. Using connector nodes, thousands of devices can be fully monitored and controlled remotely, schedules and dimming levels can be controlled centrally. More recently the system has been employed in Los Angeles. The city used to have night crews patrolling the streets looking for broken lights. By using the system, authorities can now easily identify problems and adjust lighting to the appropriate level remotely.

Philips has also introduced a circular economy business model for lighting whereby customers only pay for the provision of a lighting service and Philips is responsible for installing, maintaining and replacing light fixtures. The model is being used by Schiphol airport in Amsterdam and the company is promoting the model to small and medium-sized companies.

In Amsterdam one of the smartest buildings in the world is using smart lighting which automatically adjusts levels based on where people are in the room and allows customization of lighting conditions by users according to their needs and preferences. Besides providing light, the system is also collecting data, thereby acting as a data collection centre.

Topic: Solar services in Taiwan
Speaker: Zhou Heng-hao, General Manager, Hengs Technology
The speaker gave an overview of the integrated services for solar power plants his company supplies. He pointed out that solar panels can provide electricity as well as improve insulation on rooftops. He also showed a practical example of how solar arrays can be successfully integrated with agricultural. By providing adequate gaps between solar arrays installed in a tea plantation, the arrays provide sufficient light for plants to grow but also shading in times of intense sunlight in the summer as well as protection from frost in the winter.

Session 3

Moderator: Chen Man-li, Legislator, Legislative Yuan

Topic: Introduction to the Southern Taiwan Science Park (STSP)
Speaker: Su Yung-fu, Deputy Director, Construction Management Division, STSP, Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST)
The speaker gave an introduction to STSP and some of the companies operating there. He noted that environmental considerations are taken into account in planning and construction and the park is making continual progress in terms of energy and water savings every year. It is also pushing its tenants to apply for green building certification. Many have already done so. According to Su, STSP has a higher density of green buildings than any other industry park in Taiwan.

Topic: Energy saving experience sharing
Speaker: Yang Shui-ding, Department Manager, TSMC
The speaker gave details of his company's energy conservation measures in STSP. The company employs 70,000 people in the park and its operations in STSP account for a quarter of the company's total revenues. Half of the company's energy is used by machinery in its plants, of which chillers and pumps account for the largest share of consumption. For this reason the company is investing in energy-saving pumps and motors. TSMC has used the government's green energy tariff system for the past two years to purchase green electricity.

Topic: Solar connectivity
Speaker: Kung Po-chen, Business Vice President, Schneider Electric Taiwan 
Schneider focuses on energy management and automation. Asia accounts for the largest share of the company's business, which is why the CEO is located in Asia. The company has customers in a wide range of industries including power plants, smart buildings, manufacturing and data processing centres.
He reiterated a point made by a previous speaker that for Taiwan to successfully tap into its solar energy potential, it needs many small scale solar power plants to be connected to the grid. To effectively monitor and manage so many small installations requires the right kind of systems that can integrate solar energy into the grid, collect and analyse data in the cloud and execute commands from a remote location.

Topic: The role of pumps in energy reduction
Speaker: Angus Huang, Sales Director, Grundfos
Most people are not aware of how important and ubiquitous pumps are. They are used in buildings, many types of factory equipment, water management and treatment and desalination. According to Huang, pumps use up to 10% of all energy globally. By replacing inefficient pumps with modern and efficient versions could reduce energy usage of pumps by up to 50%, which is the equivalent to cutting global energy use by 5%. The company's tests of clients pumps for energy performance shows that pumps use more energy as they get older. Moreover, many don't install the correct pumps for their needs. For example, energy needs may be different at different times. Installing and running one pump powerful enough to meet peak demand needs means that the same amount of energy is used even for minor operations. A far better solution would be to install two or three smaller pumps in an integrated system that only runs as many pumps as needed and thereby consumes only as much energy for any given operation. He also made the point that pumps need regular maintenance to maximize energy efficiency.