Taiwan set forth plans to expand its offshore wind energy

Taiwan set forth plans to expand its offshore wind capacity through the implementation of measures in three phases: setting examples, identifying areas with potentials, and zoning for massive development, reports said Monday.

Taiwan has selected seven companies to build 10 offshore wind farms along the country’s western coast that will have installed capacity of 3,836 megawatts by 2025.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs announced Monday the results of its tender for offshore wind power planning sites, saying it has awarded a total of 3,836 MW in grid connection capacity to 10 offshore wind farms proposed by seven developers.

Of that, 738MW in capacity will be installed by 2021, and the remaining 3,098MW will be set up between 2021 and 2025, according to the ministry.

Taiwan had offshore wind capacity in 2017 of 8,000kW, and it has raised its 2025 offshore wind goal to 5.5GW from the 3GW previously targeted.

The ministry said it will hold a tender in June to select developers from those who did not win contracts for the remaining 1.66GW in capacity, with the results to be announced by the end of that month.

The seven selected developers include state-run Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) and China Steel Corp., the largest steel maker in Taiwan, but Asia Cement Corp. and polyester filament makers Lea Lea Enterprise Co. did not win contracts.

Meanwhile, three foreign winners — Germany’s wpd, Denmark’s Orsted A/S and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) — have been awarded contracts for installed capacity of 1,058MW, 902MW and 600MW, respectively, or a cumulative capacity of 66 percent of the total awarded on Monday.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) announced results on April 30 of Taiwan’s first offshore wind farm auction, marking a milestone as the island aims to increase renewable energy production to 20 percent by 2025.

Monday’s biggest winners, Denmark’s Orsted and Germany’s wpd, secured contracts to install 900 MW and 1 GW of capacity, respectively.

According to MOEA, due to the island’s lack in offshore wind power development experience, the government will, during the first stage, roll out incentives to attract investments in the industry, often associated with complex issues and higher risks. Action will be taken at the same time to amend regulations and introduce supportive measures to address the needs of the industry.

What follows will be an effort to locate areas full of potential as wind power farms. The government has selected 36 candidates, information about which will be provided to international players who will then bid to secure the right to tap into an estimated wind capacity of 23 GW in total.

If all goes well, MOEA will sign contracts with industry players in July this year, ensuring development projects are implemented according to plan, reported CNA.

After regulatory support and infrastructure are put in place, the government will spearhead the designation of zones deemed suitable for massive wind power development in the next phase, which will emphasize the coexistence of offshore wind energy harvest and environmental protection.