Taiwan inks deals to promote offshore wind energy

Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs signed agreements with two companies on Monday to build two offshore wind farms by 2015, another step forward in the country’s efforts to develop wind power, according to vice economics minister Woody Duh.


The two systems, which have already completed environmental impact assessments, will have installed capacities of at least 3,000 kilowatts each, Duh said.

One will be built off the coast of Miaoli county in western Taiwan and consist of 36 wind power turbines installed in water 5-30 meters deep, according to Duh. The other will be built off the coast of neighboring Changhua county and consist of 30 wind power turbines to be installed in water 24-40 meters deep.

To further develop the country’s ample wind resources, Taiwan still needs to tackle a slew of issues, including environmental considerations, the threat posed by typhoons, and current limitations in offshore wind generation technology, Duh said.

The ministry is scheduled to complete the installation of 4-6 offshore wind-power pilot projects by 2015 and gradually build up installed capacity to 300,000 kilowatts (300 megawatts) by 2020.

It hopes to install 600 offshore wind farms with a total capacity of 3,000 MW and 450 onshore wind turbines with a capacity of 1,200 MW, by 2030, which will drive the total output value of the wind power sector to NT$500 billion (US$17 billion) over that time, Duh said.

The government has set a goal for installed wind power capacity to account for more than 33% of Taiwan’s total renewable power capacity by 2030, Duh added.