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The Conundrums of Sustainability: Carbon Emissions and Electricity Consumption in the Electronics and Petrochemical Industries in Taiwan


  • Kuei-tien Chou

    (The Graduate Institute of National Development, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan)

  • David Walther

    (Risk Society and Policy Research Center (RSPRC), National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan)

  • Hwa-meei Liou

    (Institution of Technology Management, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei 10617, Taiwan)


The electronics industry plays an essential role in the future of a Taiwan economy based on science, technology, and innovation. At the same time, it is also the most energy-intensive industry. Taiwan is currently driven by high-carbon power generation, and adopts a passive carbon reduction pathway, but unless Taiwan urgently undergoes energy transition, the development of Taiwan’s electronics industry will be impeded. Our analysis found that the petrochemical and electronics industries are the main sources of carbon emissions (27.1%) and electricity consumption (31.6%) in Taiwan, and the existence of the petrochemical industry has constrained the growth of the electronics industry, which has therefore resulted in conundrums to Taiwan’s sustainability strategy. To accommodate the growth of the electronics industry, Taiwan needs to undertake three major transitions: energy transition, industrial transition, and restrain the growth of energy (energy conservation). Under the policy of the nuclear-free homeland, the reduction of coal-fired and thermal power generation, while at the same time increasing the share of renewable energy in power generation, are urgent and important government projects in Taiwan; however, the implementation has been sluggish.

Suggested Citation

  • Kuei-tien Chou & David Walther & Hwa-meei Liou, 2019. "The Conundrums of Sustainability: Carbon Emissions and Electricity Consumption in the Electronics and Petrochemical Industries in Taiwan," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(20), pages 1-23, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:11:y:2019:i:20:p:5664-:d:276315

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Zoundi, Zakaria, 2017. "CO2 emissions, renewable energy and the Environmental Kuznets Curve, a panel cointegration approach," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 1067-1075.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bruno Di Giusto & Joseph Lavallee & Igor Žilák & Yvonne Hu Di Giusto, 2024. "Public Opinion and the Energy Transition in East Asia: The Case of Taiwan," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 16(10), pages 1-20, May.
    2. Hon Chung Lau & Steve C. Tsai, 2022. "A Decarbonization Roadmap for Taiwan and Its Energy Policy Implications," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(14), pages 1-34, July.

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