Taiwan has been working toward boiler improvement by adopting a dual strategy that combines emission standards and subsidization. The results by the end of 2020 include an annual reduction of SOx emission by 67% (7,138 metric tons), an equivalent of the SOx emission of the Taichung Power Plant in 2020. Also, CO2 emission was reduced by 1.06 million metric tons within a year, an amount equivalent to the total carbon absorbed by 2,717 Daan Forest Parks.
The EPA pointed out that the Boiler Air Pollutant Emission Standards (鍋爐空氣污染物排放標準), set in 2018, were adopted in September that year, targeting newly installed boilers. For existing old boilers, the EPA considers factors such as constructions and installation of gas pipelines and hence has local governments grant grace periods for enterprises to improve on a case-by-case scenario. Based on boiler models, subsidies of NT$300,000 to NT$700,000 can be applied during the improvement period. Subsidies will be provided until 15 November 2022.
Besides poor energy efficiency, oil boilers mostly burn heavy oil or coals and often spew black smoke. To combat such a problem, the EPA has worked with the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) to improve old boilers. The effort is mainly on changing fuels, including switching from heavy oil to gas, coal to gas, or heavy oil to electric heat pumps, and out of those, the switch from coal or heavy oil to natural gas is the most popular. After six years of collaboration, statistics of fuels used by all boilers show the percentage of coal-burning boilers dropped from 3% to 1% and the percentage of heavy-burning ones from 47% to 18%, while the percentage of gas-burning ones rose from 38% to 64%.
As an attempt to enhance boiler efficiency and cut down air pollution simultaneously, the EPA and the MOEA have provided subsidies and established a platform as a mechanism to help improve boilers by offering pollution reduction practices and experiences. Not only do boilers have better burning efficiency after improvement efforts, but operation environments are also becoming safe with less pollution. This is an outstanding achievement from which the environment, the energy sector, and the economy have all benefitted.
Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, August 2021
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)