Based on available data and our forecasting model, in 2023, Taiwan's electricity consumption is largely driven by fossil fuels at more than 80%, with coal and gas constitutes almost an equal proportion in this bracket. Combined, low-carbon energy sources makeup just above 16% of the total electricity consumption. This includes nuclear energy, which accounts for little over 6%, while solar and wind accounting for nearly 4.7% and 1.6% respectively. Hydropower generates nearly 2.5% of the electricity, and somewhat unspecified amount of renewables accounts for the remainder of the consumption. Fossil, predominantly coal and gas-based, sources therefore contribute the vast majority of Taiwan's electricity, with low-carbon sources playing a much smaller role.
Taiwan can learn much from successful examples around the globe. Notably from France, Slovakia, and Ukraine where nuclear energy contributes to over half of their electricity generation. For wind energy, Denmark serves as an outstanding reference, supplying nearly 60% of its electricity consumption from wind. Given Taiwan's geographic and climatic conditions, a mix of nuclear and wind energy could be an achievable solution; much like in France and Denmark, towards a greener and sustainable energy future. A closer look at South Korea might be more instructive for Taiwan, considering its geographic similarities. South Korea is successfully generating about 29% of its electricity from nuclear energy, showing a similar, if not better result can be achieved by Taiwan with proper planning and strategic investment.
The history of low-carbon electricity generation in Taiwan as evolved significantly through the years. Initial strides were made with nuclear energy in the early 1980s, with growth in nuclear energy generation consistently up until 1985. The first significant dip in such energy generation occurred in 2001, which critically marked a turning point for nuclear energy in Taiwan. Thereafter, nuclear power saw a troubling decline in 2015, which persisted until 2017. This was despite efforts to bolster its production in 2018 and 2019. Cross-comparatively, hydropower and solar energy have seen slower adoption rates, capped by a striking increase in solar power generation in 2022. However, as of 2023, nuclear energy production once again appears bleak, although there's still a lot of untapped potential to be capitalized upon in Taiwan's green energy quest.