Taipower protests Taichung’s demands to lower coal use by 40% (2019/07/03)

  • 2019-07-03
  • Winnie Cheng

Taiwan Power Company has raised an outcry against Taichung's demands to cut its use of coal in the city. The Taichung City government has announced new measures to combat air pollution. They include a demand that Taipower's power plant in Taichung reduce its coal use by 40%. The plant would also have to switch off five generators during peak pollution season. Today Taipower implored Taichung to retreat on the demands, saying that switching off the generators would cause a power shortage.

The Taichung City government said that to battle air pollution, it would ask the Taichung Power Plant to reduce coal use by 40% next year. It said the power plant had to take five generators offline during periods of heavy pollution. It blasted the central government and Taipower for "blackmailing the people" over the electricity issue.

Shen Jong-chin
Economics minister
Let's all be reasonable here. Let's not claim that one is threatening another. Electricity is something we all use. Let's talk reason and be reasonable.

Hsu Tsao-hua
Taipower spokesman
Taipower absolutely would not dare to blackmail anyone. But we do want to be practical about this problem.

Taipower said coal-fired power accounts for more than 46% of its total power generation. If the Taichung plant were to dial back its coal use to 11.04 million metric tons, it would lose output of 12.1 billion kilowatt-hours. It said it had reached a deal with the city government to take two generators offline, but that the demand had changed abruptly to five. Taipower said that if it complied, the national power supply would take a hit.

Hsu Tsao-hua
Taipower spokesman
Our nuclear power generators are already working at full capacity. We would need to lean on gas-fired units to ensure a sufficient supply. This would be a massive strain. Taipower cannot guarantee that such a thing can be done. We hope everyone can have a proper discussion over this.

Taichung currently ranks second in the nation in power consumption, behind Kaohsiung. Taipower says that if a reasonable arrangement is not reached, it would be the people of Taiwan who suffer.