Several Taiwan experts said Thursday that the share of solar power production must be raised to reach the island's goal of phasing out nuclear power.
The share of solar power in total power consumption was only 0.25 percent last year, and it should be raised to about 12 percent by 2025, said Huang Der-Ray, head of the energy technology center of Taiwan's Dong Hwa University.
Last year, the island used about 206.5 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity, 73 percent of which was thermal power. Three operating nuclear power plants accounted for 19 percent of the total.
As the island is hit by frequent earthquakes, authorities have decided to phase out nuclear power for fear of possible nuclear disasters.
Huang added that power from clean energy sources, including solar, wind, biomass and geothermal energy, may be able to replace nuclear power completely by 2025.
"Solar power can also help avoid power shortages during peak hours in summer, as there is abundant sunshine," Huang said.
Ellick Liao, chairman and CEO of Taiwan Solar Energy Co. (TSEC), agreed, saying that the cost of solar power has dropped substantially and in the future can become cheaper than thermal power.
Liao suggested that the island build more ground-mounted solar power plants in regions with a lot of sunshine, instead of rooftop solar panels, which are more expensive to maintain.