Air conditioning for every classroom
To provide a more comfortable, high-quality learning environment for all schoolchildren, in July 2020 Premier Su Tseng-chang announced that the central government would invest NT$32.3 billion (US$1.1 billion) to install air conditioning in elementary and junior high school classrooms across Taiwan. Following a concerted effort by Su’s administrative team, which required overcoming labor and materials shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic, the policy was completed in a mere 18 months, on time and on spec; thus realizing a decades-held national aspiration. The project saw the installation of approximately 186,000 air conditioning units and upgraded the electrical power and installed energy management systems in nearly 3,500 elementary and junior high schools nationwide, and includes central government funding for all public elementary and junior high schools for associated annual electricity and maintenance costs. The premier’s team also oversaw a parallel project to install solar panels and power generation equipment in schools nationwide. This produces approximately 1.56 times the total energy consumed by the newly-installed air conditioning units, thereby allowing schools to not only become energy self-sufficient, but also receive energy rebates and create a stable income stream.
Photo: Premier Su Tseng-chang visits Heh Sheng Elementary School in Pingtung County to celebrate the completion of a nationwide project to install air conditioning in every classroom. (April 25, 2022)