Achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 is a global endeavor and a national objective for Taiwan, whose success will be heavily reliant upon scientific innovation and technological breakthroughs. To this end, in March 2022 the government published a plan for Taiwan's Pathway to Net-Zero Emissions in 2050, which identified five main areas for the development of net-zero-related science and technology, and in March the following year approved a net-zero science and technology program.
The first phase (2023-2026) of the program prioritizes the construction of basic technological infrastructure needed to achieve the government's national net-zero policy goals up to the year 2030. The program integrates each of the five main development areas to accelerate the real-world implementation of net-zero technologies and introduce next-generation R&D. In addition, the program promotes cooperation between the government and civic bodies to disseminate net-zero concepts among the general population and establish mechanisms for voluntary private investment, which will encourage the public to better understand and support net-zero science and technology applications.
Five main development areas
■ Sustainable and future-oriented energy sources: Fund research into next-generation energy sources such as deep geothermal, methane pyrolysis and magnetic plasma confinement to maximize renewable energy sources, and develop energy storage and power grid system integration technologies. Additionally invest in the critical infrastructure needed for R&D into hydrogen energy.
■ Low carbon and carbon reduction: Accelerate carbon reduction for high-carbon emitting industries, such as the steel, petrochemical, electronics and construction industries; reduce carbon emissions produced during transportation and deploy vehicle decarbonization technologies, such as electric vehicles and heavy-duty hydrogen fuel cell vehicles; and reduce energy use by the petrochemical industry to facilitate the transition to hydrogen power.
■ Carbon negative: Develop carbon capture, utilization and storage, as well as carbon sink and other carbon negative technologies.
■ Circular economy: Raise material reuse rate and develop technologies to facilitate energy resource reutilization, and associated verification mechanisms.
■ Humanities and social sciences: Invest in foundational academic research pertaining to the social economy and the four main spheres that will undergo transformation and adaptation: society, industries, lifestyles and the energy sector. Additionally promote the establishment of mechanisms for voluntary private investment and expand civic participation in the transition to net zero.