Cabinet greenlights draft bill mandating rooftop solar panels

The Cabinet on Thursday approved a draft legal amendment proposing that all newly constructed, added or altered structures should have rooftop solar panels installed, a move intended to step up Taiwan's renewable energy drive and help the country achieve its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.

According to the proposal, building owners can sell the electricity generated or use it themselves.

Also approved was a proposal to allow water storage facilities to be used for hydroelectricity generation, while another approved proposal seeks to define the competent authority and the application procedure for surveying geothermal power sources.

The proposed amendments to the Renewable Energy Development Act were approved by Premier Su Tseng-chang's (???) Cabinet and will be submitted to the Legislature for review.

In terms of solar energy, Taiwan has a total installed capacity of 9.3 million kilowatt-hours, of which about 65 percent comes from rooftop solar panels, which are an area of development with great potential, Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Tseng Wen-sheng (???) told a weekly Cabinet news conference in Taipei.

If passed by the Legislature, the draft amendment mandating installation of rooftop solar panels would require them to be incorporated into building designs, circumventing the need for retrofitting and providing buildings with extra insulation from the sun, Tseng said.

The proposed amendment would entail the construction industry making changes accordingly, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs would work out the specifics of the proposed rule -- such as whether there will be demonstration areas and the date on which the rule will come into force -- with the Ministry of the Interior, which oversees the construction industry, he said.

Buildings that want to sell electricity generated to the state-run utility Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) or private entities can do so under existing provisions in the act, he said.

Asked by reporters whether those excavating for geothermal energy sources in designated Indigenous community areas against the will of inhabitants will be fined, Tseng, citing the Indigenous Peoples Basic Law, said that proposed geothermal projects that do not have the consent of Indigenous settlements will not be approved.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel