Taipower and Sustainability ｜ Performance Highlights
In the post-pandemic era, as countries around the world gradually lift restrictions, ensuring a stable power supply is essential for restarting economic development. To continue providing the stable electricity needed for Taiwan's post-pandemic recovery and to effectively prevent the recurrence of large-scale power outages, Taipower initiated a 10-year program to enhance power grid resilience in 2022. Additionally, to address the concerns of stakeholders regarding sustainable development, Taipower follows the agreements made at the recent two United Nations Climate Change Conferences (COP26 and 27) to mitigate the climate crisis and progressively reduce reliance on fossil fuels. It actively promotes an energy transition focused on low-carbon sources while remaining aligned with the government's announced roadmap, strategies, targets, and action plans for achieving net-zero emissions and the Climate Change Response Act. Taipower is committed to achieving carbon Net Zero Electricity by 2050 and establishing a progressive pathway to eliminating emissions from the power sector. Furthermore, Taipower strives to enhance its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices by fostering ecological coexistence, deepening social responsibility, and maintaining sound corporate management. These efforts aim to enhance the competitiveness of sustainable business operations and contribute to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Announcing a ten-year construction plan to enhance power grid and disaster resilience
Ensuring the stability and reliability of the power supply is Taipower's top priority. Based on reviews that followed the May 13, May 17, and March 3 power outages over the past two years, which identified the risks associated with the excessive concentration of the power grid, Taipower announced in September 2022 a power grid resilience enhancement construction plan with an estimated investment of NT$564.5 billion over a period of 10 years. The plan focuses on three main pillars that encompass ten key areas, namely, promoting distributed grid projects, enhancing grid infrastructure resilience, and strengthening system defense capability. The aim is to prevent the recurrence of nationwide blackouts. In the future, the power grid will move towards regional resilience and national interconnection with the aim of establishing a resilient infrastructure that enhances the ability to respond to incidents and restore stable operations within a short timeframe.
In addition to strengthening the resilience of the national power grid, Taipower is also dedicated to improving the disaster resilience of regional power grids. In July 2022, Taipower coordinated a joint effort with the Directorate General of Highways, Chunghwa Telecom, and the Forestry Bureau, and mobilized its entire workforce to undertake an underground cabling project along the 141-kilometer-long Ping-E Road. This project aimed to transform the road into a Scenic Provincial Highway while ensuring a reliable power supply. The Ping-E Road Underground Cabling and Tree Planting Project – 2.0 was originally projected to be accomplished in sections over a 10-year period, but was successfully completed within a remarkable 160-day timeframe. This accomplishment will greatly mitigate the area's frequent power outage problems that previously resulted from external factors like summer and autumn typhoons, as well as the regular mountain winds during the winter season.
Continuing to drive energy transition and unveiling a path to net-zero electricity
In response to the challenges posed by climate change, Taipower has actively aligned itself with the government's 2050 net-zero emission policy and has devised a strategic pathway of pursuing low-carbon first and zero-carbon later. In the initial phase, while working within the existing energy infrastructure, Taipower has emphasized an energy transition that centers around increasing natural gas, reducing coal, expanding renewables, and non-nuclear as its key pillars. This includes integrating green energy into the grid, fortifying the power system, and the early implementation of forward-looking technologies. During the net-zero transition phase, Taipower will not only proactively promote carbon-free thermal power technologies but also continue to adopt innovative solutions such as long-duration energy storage to address the intermittency of renewable energy and make adjustments to the characteristics of its system. The energy storage system at Tainan's Salt Field Solar PV Farm, which was connected by Taipower in 2022, marked Taiwan's first integration of solar power and energy storage and set a record at the time with a storage capacity of 20 MW (megawatts) and a total energy storage of 20,000 kWh – the equivalent to providing one hour of electricity to 40,000 households. In the future, Taipower will gradually expand the deployment of energy storage facilities at its own sites.
Taiwan's revised Climate Change Response Act, which incorporates policies to address climate change, was successfully amended in early 2023. The Act sets the target of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. In 2022, the National Development Council (NDC) proactively collaborated with various ministries and agencies to develop 12 Key Strategies for integrating resources across sectors to formulate action plans in the 12 areas expected to experience growth or change in energy, industry, and lifestyle. In accordance with the 12 Key Strategies, Taipower not only actively develops renewable energy and energy storage systems but also continues to promote the upgrading of thermal power plant units. By leveraging the expertise of international giants such as Siemens Energy from Germany and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Mitsubishi Corporation from Japan, Taipower has signed memorandums of understanding (MOUs) to facilitate the adoption of hydrogen blending in natural gas and ammonia blending in coal, thereby integrating existing power generation units with new energy applications. The target is to demonstrate 5% hydrogen blending by 2025 and reach a 5% ammonia blending milestone by 2030.
In the future, these initiatives will gradually be extended to other gas and coal power plants as technological development allows. Advanced technologies such as carbon capture and utilization (CCU) and co-combustion of zero-carbon fuels will also be introduced to accelerate decarbonization efforts in the power sector and facilitate the industry's energy transition.
Creating a model ecological power plant and supporting public benefits
To align with the United Nations' initiatives on ecosystem restoration and innovative circular economies, Taipower continues to invest in ecological restoration projects at its power facilities, and aims to create both economic development and ecological conservation opportunities. Kaohsiung Hsinta Power Plant is currently Taipower's only plant that possesses both wetlands and environmental facilities. As such, it is expected to serve as a model for the development of other environmentally friendly power plants and wetland conservation projects.
Furthermore, as global warming intensifies and abnormally high temperatures occur more frequently in Taiwan, students in remote schools face the challenge of studying in hot summer conditions due to economic constraints. Since 2020, Taipower has supported the government's "Air Conditioning for Every Classroom" policy. In 2022, following just over a year of work and overcoming various difficulties, Taipower completed power improvement projects, air conditioning installations, energy management systems (EMS), and the installation of rooftop solar power generation equipment for nearly 3,500 schools across Taiwan. Through these tangible actions, Taipower contributes positively to society and enhances its social impact.
With a vision of becoming an excellent and trusted world-class power corporation, Taipower remains committed to advancing its sustainable development initiatives. Through collective efforts and collaboration with the government and the international community, Taipower is striving to create a better environment. On the path to promoting sustainable operations, Taipower has embraced its mission of ensuring a stable power supply. It has accelerated energy transition, progressed steadily towards achieving net-zero emissions, and simultaneously implemented just transitions while upholding human rights declarations. By doing so, Taipower continues to be a reliable partner in Taiwan's sustainable development journey.
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