Taiwan is a small island nation that imports over 98% of its total energy supply. It doesn’t take an energy expert to tell you that 98% reliant on foreign energy supplies is too reliant.
Taiwan—a nation with a central mountain range covering two thirds of the total area, restricting 23 million Taiwanese to an area about the size of Qatar—is familiar with the concept of limitations. Unfortunately, Taiwan does not make up for land scarcity with abundant resources—Taiwan’s domestic supply of fossil fuels were already exhausted three decades ago, when domestic fuels supplied 15- 20 percent of Taiwan’s energy supply. Since then, Taiwan has become almost entirely reliant on imported fuels—in 2016, Taiwan imported over 98 percent of its total energy supply, making it one of the least energy secure nations in the world. In 2012, energy imports represented 14.55 percent of Taiwan’s GDP, up from just 3.88 percent in 2002. Energy imports as a share of total imports ballooned from 10.28 percent in 2002 to 25.41 percent in 2012.
I worked with ECOVE to publish a paper addressing this issue–and positioning solar power as a reasonable solution to the problem. You can find the full paper here.