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CIRES Team Meeting: Renewable Energy Governance Platform Discussion

Date: 17th April 2020

Content:

In recent years, Taiwan has been actively promoting energy transformation. The development of renewable energy to replace non-renewable energy is considered as an important work. Taiwan is a small and densely populated country; the construction of ground-mounted solar panels is facing land competition issue with agricultural production and ecological conservation. It also involves issues such as food security, energy self-sufficiency, greenhouse gas emissions, and ecosystem services that are critical to Taiwan’s future sustainability issues, so it must be handled cautiously. In the recent past, the development of solar panels has constantly caught people’s attention or even protests from the local communities, farmers, fishermen, and environmental organizations.

Taiwan’s solar panels development started in the western region due to factors like solar insolation. However, in the past years, with the solar panel development policies by the government and the incentive policy for the eastern region, Eastern Taiwan has also begun to experience the above-mentioned challenges. There are large area farmland and state land in the Eastern Taiwan. As this area is an important agricultural ground and less polluted ecosystem for the country, it certainly attracts attention on a national scale when it comes to renewable energy development. To integrate the viewpoints and expertise of multiple stakeholders along with considering the multiple environmental goals, it is urgent to establish a regional governance platform. Thus, land use and social conflicts can be diminished; at the same time, the platform facilitates effective and professional communication and policy formation. CIRES of National Dong Hwa University serves as the important research think tank in the Eastern Taiwan. We will soon organize series of meetings to promote the regional governance platform. Through this platform, we get to promote the good governance of renewable energy development, agricultural production and ecological conservation.

This meeting was the first session of the governance platform discussion, which we discussed the above-mentioned issues from the national and regional scale. Also, we invited multiple stakeholders from government, local communities, industrial and academia to define the key issues as the main discussions points for future meetings. Discussion topics:

1. The policies and actual plannings of the government agencies and development agencies for the development of ground-mounted solar panels in the Hualien Taitung area.

2. A preliminary competitive assessment of the land use practices among ground-mounted solar panels and agricultural production, ecological conservation and other land use goals by all stakeholders.

3. Discuss the key sub-themes of integrating the goals of ground-mounted solar panels development, agricultural production, and ecological conservation.


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