An Energy Transition Path to Respond to the Climate Crisis

Although Taiwan has set the goal of adjusting the power structure by 2025 to become non-nuclear, reduce coal and increase green energy, as well as proposed a five-year implementation plan as stipulated in the energy transition white paper, however other countries have proposed more aggressive net-zero carbon emission goals over the longer term, in response to the Paris Agreement and the increased citizen attention being placed on climate issues. Under Taiwan's Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Law, a long-term goal for 2050 is expressly stipulated, which demands for carbon emissions to be reduced by half from 2005 levels, which therefore points to the need for more active policy planning for Taiwan's energy transition - this should include supplementing the inadequate administrative measures in the energy transition white paper in order to achieve the 2025 energy transition goal; creating new legislation or making adjustments to the current power structures so as to achieve the targets outlined under the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Law; or better still, by developing a more complete set of laws and regulations to facilitate energy transition, as well as by mainstreaming climate policy, in order to achieve the 2050 carbon reduction goal.

By using the analytical method of 'Transformative Policy Mixes',1 our research team adopted policy mixes to enhance the impact of the policy recommendations, speed up the process of energy transition, avoid path dependence, reform the system, inspire the development of a social vision and its communication, as well as attempt to overcome policy barriers. In response to the current challenges that are holding back Taiwan's energy transition, our research team developed the following climate and energy transition policy mixes, with the aim of achieving comprehensive transition in Taiwan:


1. Adopt Participatory Governance Innovation

  • Improve public energy literacy and reform the energy administration system to achieve the goal of mainstreaming energy transition.


2. Internalize External Costs

  • Implement a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program and energy tax, with the aim of changing business strategies and consumer choices, to speed up the adoption of environmental friendly technologies and products.


3. Develop a Sustainable Power Market

  • Amend the Electricity Act such as by establishing an independent electricity regulatory authority, implementing environmental regulations in the electricity industry as well as by promoting citizens power plants; with the aim of strengthening the electricity market in order to facilitate the development of renewable energy.


4. Strengthen Local Energy Governance

  • Make regulatory amendments to empower local governments in the management of energy issues, such as by establishing specialized agencies and for the development of medium- and long-term energy transition strategies, in order to fundamentally strengthen local governance capabilities.


5. Implement the Industrial Energy Efficiency First Principle

  • Over the last ten years, the industrial sector has seen the highest energy consumption in Taiwan, which reflects its massive impact on the overall energy supply and demand. Therefore, strengthening energy management capabilities in the industrial sector and improving energy efficiency would substantially reduce energy consumption in this sector.


6. Accelerate Green Capital Flows

  • Apply external pressure on the financial sector to identify and assess the exposure to climate-related risks, so as to improve investment choices and reduce the dependence of financial capital on the fossil fuel system.



1 K.S. Rogge, B. Pfluger, F.W. Geels(2018). Transformative policy mixes in socio-technical scenarios: the case of the low-carbon transition of The German electricity system (2010–2050). Technol. Forecast. Soc. Change, 10.1016/j.techfore.2018.04.002