With less than a week to go until the 2012 Republic of China Presidential & Legislative Elections, it is time to unveil the doom that awaits Taiwan, should Tsai Ing-wen win.
So far, the Taiwanese approach to the welfare system, healthcare and energy policy have been reasonable regardless of the president’s party affiliation. Taiwan has socialized healthcare that actually works as nobody is burdened by the premiums, no business discouraged and those who excessively visit clinics for their pastime pay for each visit. Taiwan also has a welfare system that emphasizes a family’s responsibility before socializing problems.
When it comes to energy policy – so far – Taiwan has found a reasonable approach as well. But, you might have guessed it, nobody is safe from the Fukushima craze. Luckily, this was not a prime campaign topic, despite “Dr. Tsai” (Note: a PhD is a great way of covering a total lack of experience in elected offices!) attempting to make it one.
Now what exactly can the Taiwan people expect from a DPP-President (other than corruption like in the case of Chen Shui-bian)? The answer is simple: a huge dependence on imported fossil fuels. Tsai Ing-wen committed herself to making Taiwan nuclear power free by the year 2025 – that is little more than a decade.
“Tsai said a referendum to stop nuclear power in Italy and Germany’s efforts to increase the proportion of energy generated by renewable energy were examples of how other countries had decided to adopt a green energy policy — a path that Taiwan should follow.”
Even accounting for the great progress renewable energies have made in the last ten years, it is highly doubtful that Taiwan can largely depend on solar and wind energy by the next decade.
Noteworthy are the two nations that Tsai Ing-wen mentions as role models for Taiwan:
Italy had been free of (domestic) nuclear power since the early 1990s, instead the country heavily relies on fossil fuels and imported (Slovenian) nuclear power. The referendum of June 2011 did nothing more but reaffirm the status quo in law.
For those who have recently read any piece on Germany’s energy sector, it shouldn’t be any news that moving a country towards green energy sounds like a great idea – but leads to huge problems. Currently, German utility companies import nuclear power from France and will have to do so even more in the future. Even Germany, where for 7 years a green party was part of a coalition government and therefore the political will was given, did not manage to even achieve a 10% dependability on solar and wind power.
Instead, Taiwan will need to rely on even more fossil fuels with Tsai Ing-wen as president. The question only is, where to procure these fuels? Russia? Or how about Mainland China?
Ironically, while Tsai Ing-wen was against the ECFA for its alleged surrender of Taiwan to the PRC, her energy policy will make Taiwan a tributary realm of Beijing.
Europe has already felt the downside of depending on Russia’s gas and oil – Taiwan can expect the same when electing Tsai Ing-wen as president.
President Ma Ying-jeou on the other hand is (as so often) the more reasonable presidential candidate: he does not want to shut the door on nuclear energy before renewable energy is ready to sustain the country without an increase in foreign fuels dependence.