Our forecast model indicates that in the year 2023, the Republic of China (Taiwan) heavily relies on fossil fuel sources for electricity consumption. The data, which includes our analysis of the actual figures for the first ten months and forecasted data for the year-end, indicates that fossil energy makes up more than three-quarters of Taiwan's total electricity consumption. Of this, coal and gas form the backbone, accounting for nearly 43% and 40% respectively while oil barely scratches the surface with a mere 1.3%. Low-carbon energy sources, while significantly less utilised, still manage to contribute close to 16% of the total. This group includes nuclear power which accounts for almost 6%, solar energy provides nearly 5%, and the rest is shared between hydropower and wind, with each contributing about 2.5% and 1.6% respectively.
To boost their low-carbon electricity generation, Taiwan can draw inspiration and lessons from countries with similar dynamics. For example, nuclear power is a key low-carbon energy source in neighboring South Korea, accounting for 28% of their total electricity generation. France and Slovakia have harnessed nuclear power to even greater extents, generating 66% and 63% of their electricity respectively. Wind power is another low-carbon option worth considering, as Denmark demonstrates; generating a staggering 59% of its electricity through this clean energy source. This variety suggests that Taiwan could potentially tap into a diverse array of low-carbon energy sources, expanding their nuclear energy program while also increasing investment and infrastructure development in harnessing wind and solar power.
In terms of historical context, Taiwan's journey with low-carbon electricity, specifically nuclear power, is characterised by periods of growth and decline. The 1980s marked an increase in nuclear electricity generation with occasional significant jumps, like in 1983 and 1984 with increases of 6 TWh. A similar increase was noted in 1987. The early 1990s saw the introduction of hydropower, which grew modestly. Nuclear power faced a setback in 2001 with a decrease evident, but it recovered quickly within the next year. However, the years following 2015 were particularly harsh for nuclear electricity generation, decreasing steadily and significantly over the next few years. While 2018 and 2019 saw a resurgence, it wasn't enough to counter the significant reductions in earlier years. 2020 marked a decrease in hydropower while solar power, as of 2022, has shown promise as a growing contributor to low-carbon electricity.