Taiwan's Energy "Security" (dependency)

How about reducing levels of consumption? My first target would be to stop subsidizing energy hogging and highly polluting industries in Taiwan (plastics, peterochemicals, etc) that have for years made a go of it with heavily subsidized energy costs, cheap land, cheap labour. Let them pay the real costs and see how long they can make it.

Guy

As always, there are other ways. There are thousands of alternatives connected to reducing our use of energy while also pushing for the expansion of alternative energy sources.

Guy

It’s amazing how energy prices remain completely stable in Taiwan despite importing them all. See how expensive gas is in other countries.

It isn’t amazing. The government here subsidizes all of the energy here. Taipower loses money on every bit of electricity you consume. CPC loses money on every drop of fuel you put in your scooter. The government here has offset any pain. We’ve got it really good.

Which brings up the question of why other countries are not doing this. If Taiwan can handle this other countries certainly can as well. Instead they just leave it and let oil and gas price through the roof.

Reducing our use of energy eventually means having negative economic growth. Japan in particular faces a very stark crisis. Its debt to GDP is north of 350%, meaning it’s pretty much bankrupt and the country will not be able to afford this so called “expansion of alternative energy sources”. Right now it’s trying to starve off bankruptcy through soft default i.e. currency devaluation. The Yen has rapidly (weeks) dropped from 110 to 135. This means that imports including energy (and materials required to build new energy sources) will get more and more expensive. When (not if) the Yen drops to 200, the nuclear reactors will be restarted.

I’ve already said that relying on alternative energy sources other than nuclear isn’t really viable (see energy density). That’s not my opinion, it’s just math. From the article that I posted: “Gasoline is ten quadrillion times more energy-dense than solar radiation, one
billion times more energy-dense than wind and water power, and ten million times more
energy-dense than human power.” And as someone else has posted, nuclear energy is the densest of them all.

That will NEVER happen. The lowest it would drop to is 140-150. Japan is not Russia. Japan has the second largest forex reserves. When yen is too weak they will just release some of it to support the currency.

That is immaterial. Their public debt is almost all domestically-owned. They are on decline but they will be fine.

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Yes. You don’t have growing GDP without growing use of energy.

Politics is why energy is so cheap for consumers here.

Taiwan did have long term, fixed amount contracts for energy imports at one time. Not sure of the situation now.

Taiwan has such enormous Treasury reserves in the USA et al they can keep the prices here low for a long long time. CPC has drilling/extraction/exploiting investments in different places.

To be energy free Taiwan needs nuclear or oil taps that they own and control. No other way is feasible.

Doesn’t that just get made up again in taxes?

Do you pay your Taiwan taxes in USD?

The LDP in Japan is basically the KMT, they support nuclear power and will only back down when public sentiment forces them to do so.

Many of the other points of comparison with Japan may not really fit as currency devaluation is not a thing in Taiwan now at all.

Guy

This arrangement means we are supporting the energy hogs, and not incentivizing industry to reduce their use of power.

I don’t think this is a “really good” arrangement at all. :neutral_face:

Guy

Well Guy, shut off your AC, water heater, computers, refrigerator, and start walking. That will show them !!!

I think you may have mixed up “reduce” with “eliminate.” We all have an energy footprint; some have bigger footprints than others.

I’d be happy to have incentives to get more efficient appliances, and better insulated buildings. I’ve posted about the latter in another thread.

Cheers,
Guy

Some of the largest energy consumers in Taiwan have their own power plants. People are certainly mindful of their energy consumption/cost.

Really the biggest challenge I see is all of these kids being educated by energy ignorant teachers.

The kids don’t get that mess from me.

It’s clear to me that most people who advocate steps to counter global warming have no idea what they are talking about the same as the anti fossil fuels crowd have little understanding.

A truly worthy campaign, something that would really benefit society would be a “stop being so stupid” campaign.

Are they now setting policy? We’re talking about energy policy, right?

Guy

Russia’s Rouble is now higher than before the war. Not sure why you mentioned “Japan is not Russia”. So over the years, the Japanese Yen has dropped from 80 Yen to 135 now. So much for that second largest forex reserves. I personally have returned 500% betting against the Japanese Yen. That sounds like a boast, but it’s not, all I am saying is that talk is cheap. “But hold on, the Yen has only lost 50%, so 500% is a lie!!!” Well obviously you have not traded Forex before. With a leverage of 10 to 1, I have to be right, otherwise, I’ll be the one taken out in a stretcher.

Their public debt is all domestically owned? That only matters if you have a fully domestic economy. Japan imports a lot of things from overseas including energy. Overseas perception matters. That’s why the market is adjusting the Yen down. Japan does not have 100% agency in this matter.

Look, I am probably one of the biggest Japan fans there is. There’s no country I’ve enjoyed visiting more than Japan. Heck I am studying the Japanese language pretty seriously. I can however separate what I like from what I think will happen.

Ruble is only strong because of the insane capital control. Russian domestic consumption has completely collapsed. Yen is weak now because Japan’s interest rate is negative. If they want it strong they can easily pump it up. Once yen dives to 140 their central bank will intervene.

Japan’s trade to gdp ratio is very low. It’s mostly a domestic economy. They import energy but they export more.

The foreign portion of their debt is still 100% of GDP.

That’s public + private.

Very low compared to the west.

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