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Taiwan injects $1.4B in green energy industry

Posted: 20 Aug 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Taiwan green investment? power consumption? solar cell?

The Taiwan government plans to invest about NT$45 billion ($1.4 billion) in the domestic green energy industry, which includes solar energy equipment and lights that reduce power consumption.

The government aims to increase industry production value from NT$160.3 billion ($4.88 billion) last year to NT$1.158 trillion ($35.23 billion) in 2015, by which time the industry is expected to account for 6.6 percent of the total production value of Taiwan's manufacturing industry and create 110,000 jobs.

"The green energy sector can turn Taiwan into a major power in energy technology and production, as well as provide the creation of green jobs," Taiwan Premier Liu Chao-shiuan said.

The green energy industry is likely to grow rapidly in coming years as governments cooperate to cut carbon emissions and use renewable energy more effectively. DisplaySearch forecasts that by 2012, production of power-saving LEDs used in flat-panel display backlights will soar to 34 billion units, from 8 billion units in 2008. The backlights in most flat-panel displays used in TVs and notebook computers today have CCFL that consume more energy and contain polluting mercury. The global market for LEDs is now worth about $5 billion.

LED, solar cell boost
In April, Taiwan's Executive Yuan approved a project for new industrial developmentThe Takeoff Program for the Green Energy Industry and in June the Legislative Yuan passed the Statute for Renewable Energy. Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said the Takeoff Program will be divided into two parts.

One part will focus on solar energy and LEDs. The aim is to make Taiwan one of the world's top-three producers of solar cells and the world's largest supplier of LED lights and modules. Taiwan will change all of its 700,000 traffic signals to LEDs and will aim to complete the construction of Asia's largest solar power plant by 2011.

LEDs are likely to capture a larger portion of the market for nearly every type of lighting, including as displays in electronic devices, road signage, traffic lights, large public information screens and video displays.

Taiwan's LED industry, the world's second largest by production value, includes companies such as Arima Optoelectronics Corp., Bright LED Electronics Corp., Epistar Corp., Everlight Electronic Co., Formosa Epitaxy, Genesis Photonics Inc., Harvatek, I-Chiun Precision, Ligitek, Opto Tech and Unity Opto Technology Co.

Taiwan's solar cell makers include Motech Industrial Inc., Gintech Energy Corp., E-Ton Solar Tech, Sino-American Silicon Products Inc., Sinonar Corp. and Green Energy Technology. Motech, Gintech and E-Ton are among the world's ten largest solar cell makers by revenue.

Tapping renewable energies
Another part of the Takeoff Program will promote wind power generation, biofuels, hydrogen energy and fuel cells, energy information and communication technology and electric vehicles. The government aims to develop Taiwan into a global supplier of wind power generation systems and help the island become a key production base for electric vehicles and fuel cell system assembly in the Asia-Pacific region.

The MOEA noted that of the NT$45 billion ($1.4 billion) in green-energy investment, NT$20 billion ($608.40 million) will be allocated for investment in R&D and the other NT$25 ($760.50 million) billion will be used for renewable energy and energy-saving facilities and grants.

The Statute for Renewable Energy provides incentives for the development of the green energy industry, including solar energy, ocean energy, wind power, biofuels and waste-generated hydrogen power.

Tsai Chin-yao, a board member of the Taiwan Photovoltaic Industry Association, said the passage of the statute will attract at least NT$30 billion ($912.60 million) in investment, creating over 10,000 jobs and NT$100 billion ($3.04 billion) in annual production value in one to two years.

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