Energy Democratization in Taiwan: Current Problems and the Civil Society’s Advocacy

Friday, 20 July 2018: 18:10
Oral Presentation
Shu-Fen KAO, Fo Guang University, Taiwan
Ying-Feng CHEN, Chinese Culture University, Taiwan
As a result of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, there has been greater public awareness of possible catastrophe from nuclear power disasters in Taiwan. In addition to the strong civic questioning of current energy policy, issues such as the urgency of global carbon-reduction and the emphasis on sustainable energy worldwide are pushing the Taiwanese government towards new and more significant energy policies. Although the government has launched several nationwide conferences on energy issues, in an attempt to reach social agreement on “energy transition,” public participation, action guidelines and consensuses have been largely insufficient thus far, due to the lack of deliberative discussion and articulation of a national vision in relation to current energy policies and problems. The authors utilize a qualitative methodology, through in-depth interviews with major stakeholders, such as local activists, NGO members, and governmental officials, as well as content analysis of documentary data related to the energy options debate, local energy-saving programs and advocacy for community-based energy, in order to analyze how the state-centered legacy of the developmental state hinders the process of energy democratization. In addition, the authors also investigate the ways that civil society advocate for renewable energy development in Taiwan. Based on the findings, the authors provide suggestions for strategic actions to accelerate energy transition in Taiwan.