Thu, Nov 21, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Foreign officials attend energy workshop

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Energy governance workshop participants from Taiwan, Australia, Japan and the US pose for a group photograph at the Sheraton Grand Taipei Hotel yesterday.

Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times

Representatives from Australia, Japan, the US and other countries yesterday joined Taiwanese officials at the opening of an energy governance workshop at the Sheraton Grand Taipei Hotel, with attendants pledging to develop open, transparent and sustainable energy markets.

The three-day workshop aims to promote good energy governance in the Indo-Pacific region and is among events held under the Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF), which was originally a Taiwan-US platform launched in 2015.

In his opening speech, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Hsu Szu-chien (徐斯儉) welcomed Australia in cohosting a GCTF event for the first time since Japan and Sweden joined the framework earlier this year, saying he hopes that more like-minded countries will also join it.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in 2016 introduced an energy transition strategy aiming to reduce the nation’s reliance on imported energy sources and increase its green energy ratio to 20 percent of the total energy mix by 2025, he said.

One achievement was last week’s inauguration of Formosa I (海洋風電), the nation’s first commercial offshore wind farm, off the coast of Miaoli County, Hsu said.

Australian firm Macquarie Capital Ltd has invested in Formosa I and the construction of another offshore wind farm, Formosa II (海能風力發電), has also begun, Australian Office Taipei Representative Gary Cowan said.

Formosa I has an installed capacity of 128 megawatts (MW).

Macquarie Capital owns 25 percent of it, Danish firm Orsted A/S owns 35 percent, Japan’s JERA Co owns 32.5 percent and Taiwan’s Swancor Holding Co Ltd (上緯投控) owns 7.5 percent.

Formosa II has a planned installed capacity of 376MW, and is owned by Macquarie Capital (75 percent) and Swancor (25 percent).

As Taiwan has attracted many international investors to its renewable energy sector, its long-term goal is to become a green energy development center in Asia, Hsu said.

How to elevate the resilience of power supply systems, diversify energy sources and develop response measures to power outages are subjects that participants hope to explore at the workshop, Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) said.

To build an affordable, reliable and environmentally sustainable energy market, a government should set a clear and consistent energy policy, ensure investment in energy infrastructure and promote innovation, Cowan said.

For example, the coal-fired Linkou Power Plant (林口發電廠) in New Taipei City has improved its energy efficiency by employing Japan’s ultra-supercritical generating technology and using quality coal from Australia, he said.

Australia is working with Japan and South Korea to develop hydrogen as a clean fuel, and also hopes to work with Taiwan and other partners on related projects, Cowan added.

“We have a shared commitment to sustainable and responsible energy governance structures that will allow for a free, open, and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” American Institute in Taiwan Director Brent Christensen said in his speech.

The US government seeks to support energy security and private sector investment in energy markets, as well as market-based energy policies, under its Asia Enhancing Development and Growth through Energy initiative, he said.

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