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A Green Energy Transition to Gas? Renewable Energy Development and the Creation of a Dispatchable Gas-Fired Power

Authors: Ker-Hsuan Chien*, National Changhua University of Education
Topics: Cultural and Political Ecology, Energy, Asia
Keywords: energy transition, gas-fired power generation, dispatchable energy, Taiwan
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

In recent years, the Taiwanese Government has been committed to conducting energy transition. New laws were implemented to make 20% of Taiwan’s electricity generation renewable by 2025, at the same time suspending all nuclear power plants. This goal has guided a series of economic policies to boost renewable energy industries, including solar PV and wind power. However, these efforts are also leading to the paradoxical growth of gas-fired power generation, which is planned to increase to up to 50% of Taiwan’s total electricity generation from the current 38.6%. Since renewable energy sources such as solar PV and wind are subject to weather and seasonal fluctuation, the highly dispatchable gas-fired electricity became the “natural ally” for the solar PV and wind energy, given that it can be activated within a short time. This increasing dependency on gas also raises concerns about energy security, since Taiwan’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply is almost entirely imported and has only a buffer stock for a few days. With Taiwan’s case, this paper investigates the energy transition from three perspectives: First, how the concerns for the fluctuation of renewable energy have facilitated the further deployment of fossil fuels; second, how the knowledge of weather forecasting and the materiality of LNG have rendered energy supplies as “dispatchable” by humans; finally, how the energy transition can lead to further dependence on particular forms of fossil fuel if stressing solely on renewable energy development.

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