Tue, Dec 04, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Ministry to discuss FIT cap with wind developers

By Ted Chen  /  Staff reporter

A map showing proposed offshore wind development projects is projected at a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Economics Committee in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

The Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday said that it would continue to try to resolve its differences with offshore wind energy developers amid growing concerns over the government’s proposal to cap the feed-in tariff (FIT) at NT$5.106 per unit for 20 years.

“We do not respond to threats,” Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) told a question-and-answer session at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday.

Foreign offshore wind developers have said that the proposed cap — set 12.7 percent below current levels — has clouded visibility for securing returns and financing, and forced them to re-evaluate the viability of taking on additional projects in Taiwan.

Developers have also said that they are facing higher costs and risks in Taiwan, due to geopolitical factors, as well as the government’s local content requirements aimed at developing a local offshore wind energy supply chain.

Shen urged the developers to submit data supporting their case against the FIT cut, adding that reasonable proposals would be considered for review.

There is no backing out of renewable energy and clients around the globe would soon be requiring Taiwan’s export-oriented manufacturers to use green energy, Shen said.

Meanwhile, the government is still formulating the terms of third-phase offshore wind projects with a total capacity of 5 gigawatts.

Bureau of Energy Director-General Lin Chuan-neng (林全能) said that the energy unit prices of phase-three projects would be determined by an auction as opposed to a FIT system and projects might not be subject to local content requirements.

Although voters late last month passed referendums supporting nuclear power, these do not clash with the government’s commitment to develop alternative energy sources, which are also crucial to meeting the nation’s emission reduction goals, Lin said.

More details on phase-three projects would be released early next year, including the allocation of offshore wind power concession zones among developers.

The ministry should take a more proactive role to balance the interests of foreign offshore wind developers and the future of Taiwan’s nascent offshore wind supply chain, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Sufin Siluko (廖國棟) said.

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