High modernism, the dominant sociotechnical imagination in postwar Taiwan, manifested in tacit answers to the questions of what a better society would look like and the most pragmatic and viable approach to make the particular dreamed-of future become reality. This article explores the exclusion of alternative energy futures brought about by a high modernist imaginary. This imaginary underlies a strategy of emphasizing shortage at present and prosperity in the future—as long as the current shortage is solved in a reliable way. Focusing on the contention over energy supply between 2011 and 2015, this article provides an analysis of how power shortages are presented in discursive ambiguity, how the claimed crisis over the electricity shortage moves to the center of public debate via the institutional practices of power rationing, and how its public authority is established through collective witness. Renewable energy is continually represented as an “immature” and “unviable” technology when it comes to satisfying the nation’s need, through particular routinized practices in the calculation of “reserve margins” in electricity planning and the collective witnessing of (limited) operating reserves. We argue that both of these come with their own assumptions and political implications and therefore invite scrutiny.
極度現代主義是戰後臺灣具有主導優勢的社會科技想像,尤其,它透過對「我們該追尋的更好社會為何?而又該由何最務實與可行的途徑來達成它?」一問題,提供默會不宣的答案來獲得彰顯。本文探索,在極度現代的想像下,對於不同能源未來選擇的排除。該合理性經由對當下的短缺與未來的富裕之強調,也就是,透過暗示當下的短缺需由「可靠」方式解決。本文聚焦在介於 2011 年與 2015 年之間,能源供給面上的爭論,由此來分析,「缺電問題」是如何經由論述上的模糊來呈現,所宣稱的「缺電危機」又是如何經由環繞在限電上的制度實做而位移到公眾爭論的核心,且其對於公眾的權威又是如何透過共同的見證而獲確認。當談到滿足國家需求時,再生能源不斷的被描繪成為一種「不成熟」與「不可行」的科技,而這是由電力規劃上,備用容量計算時的特定例行慣常化實做與對於有限備轉容量的集體見證而達成。我們強調,上述兩者皆帶有其自身的假定與政治上的意涵,因此,必定要招致仔細審視。