Wed, Jan 01, 2020 - Page 12 News List

Ministry finalizes renewables’ FIT rates

UNCONVINCED?Despite opposition by developers, citing high development costs, the Ministry of Economic Affairs lowered offshore wind energy rates by 7.64 percent

By Natasha Li  /  Staff reporter

The Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday announced the government’s finalized feed-in tariff (FIT) rates for renewable energy this year, which included a minor change to the original proposed rates for onshore wind energy generation.

Following three public hearings in Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung last month, the ministry said that it has decided to increase FIT rates for energy generated by onshore wind power with a capacity of less than 30 kilowatts (kW) from NT$7.7916 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to NT$7.7998, primarily citing high maintenance costs.

Meanwhile, FIT rates for offshore wind energy are to be retained from the original proposal at NT$5.0946 per kWh, declining 7.64 percent from NT$5.516 per kWh last year, the ministry said.

The finalized rates might come at a cost to offshore wind energy developers, many of which have voiced opposition to adjusting the FIT rates.

Yuni Wang (王雲怡), chairwoman of Wpd Taiwan Energy Co Ltd (達德能源), the local unit of Germany-based Wpd Group, said that the ministry’s new fixed FIT rates for offshore wind energy are unreasonable and fail to reflect the true costs of building offshore wind farms in Taiwan.

“We regret the ministry’s decision, as we have already outlined the costs that our offshore wind energy projects would generate by 2025, most of which we have to shoulder this year,” Wang told the Taipei Times by telephone.

“We might have to renegotiate contracts with our local and foreign suppliers due to the new rates,” Wang said, adding that this might lead to a delay in the development of the company’s projects.

The ministry said that wind energy developers have yet to provide convincing evidence to support their claims of high costs.

“After taking many experts’ advice on the matter into consideration, we believe that we cannot maintain last year’s rates,” a ministry official told the Taipei Times.

Along with the accelerating pace at which a local supply chain is being assembled, the FIT rates for offshore wind energy would ensure the steady development of Taiwan’s offshore wind farms, said the official, who declined to be named.

Furthermore, the higher rates offered by a tiered FIT scheme in the first 10 years would decrease from NT$6.2795 last year to NT$5.8015 this year, and decline from NT$4.1422 to NT$3.8227 over the next decade, the ministry said.

Other FIT rates for energy generated by biomass, biodegradable waste and small hydroelectric projects are this year to increase between 1 percent and 4 percent from last year, as previously indicated by the ministry, which aims to encourage the use of such energy systems.

FIT rates for solar energy are to be lowered slightly by between 0.34 and 2.44 percent from last year’s levels, the ministry said.

There was also a small cut from NT$5.7983 to NT$5.7788 per kWh for energy generated by rooftop solar systems with a capacity of less than 20kW, it said.

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