Wed, May 09, 2018 - Page 14 News List

Offshore wind power firms see Taiwan as key battleground to expand in Asia

Power-generating wind turbines are pictured at a UK offshore wind farm.

Photo Courtesy of Changhua County Government

Taiwan is becoming the next battleground for the world’s top offshore wind developers as they seek a foothold in Asia for a technology that has been expanding fast in Europe.

Taiwan announced results last Monday of its first major offshore wind farm auction that aims to add 3.8 gigawatts (GW) of capacity to its existing network of just 8 megawatts (MW).

The island’s offshore wind market is expected to expand to 5.5GW by 2025, and the government aims to invest US$23 billion on onshore and offshore wind projects by 2025.

Taiwan is making a big push to attract investments in renewable technology as it phases out nuclear power by 2025, after the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan highlighted the risks of using nuclear energy in a region prone to earthquakes.

European players win bulk of Taiwan offshore wind auction

For developers in Europe, where expanding offshore wind projects, particularly in the North Sea have driven down costs, Taiwan is seen as a route into Asian markets, such as Japan and South Korea, where the technology is still barely used.

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

“We see Taiwan as a stepping stone into Asia-Pacific,” said Matthias Bausenwein, the regional general manager for Orsted, the world’s largest owner of offshore **wind power** sites that was previously known as DONG Energy.

Strong wind speeds make island an attractive market

Taiwan’s auction drew bids from the world’s biggest international players, attracted by the island’s strong winds, a stable regulatory framework and the offer of 20-year power purchase agreements with a feed-in-tariff above European benchmarks.


1. offshore a.


(li2 an4 de5; hai3 shang4 de5)

2. wind farm phr.


(feng1 chang3)

3. onshore a.


(lu4 yu4 de5; lu4 di4 shang4 de5)

4. phase out phr.

[使] 逐步淘汰

([shi3] zhu2 bu4 tao2 tai4)

5. wind power phr.


(feng1 li4 fa1 dian4)

6. turbine n.


(wo1 lun2 ji1)

“We have aggressive targets in Taiwan and, with things going on in China, South Korea and other markets, that amounts to it becoming the fastest-growing region globally,” said Bausenwein.

Falling costs

Offshore wind power is costlier than onshore projects or solar power, and still only accounts for about 3.5 percent of global wind energy capacity.

But Europe has been leading the way in using the technology, adding 3GW last year and taking total offshore capacity to 19GW, according to the Global Wind Energy Council.

Costs have plunged as a result. In Britain, the world’s biggest market, the cost of wind power fell below new nuclear generation for the first time last year.

Companies seek to develop local turbine suppliers

European firms want local suppliers to avoid the cost of shipping bulky equipment used in the turbines from Europe.

“The requirements for local content are increasing step by step,” said Andreas Nauen, offshore chief executive for Siemens Gamesa, adding some European equipment would initially be used. Siemens Gamesa is working to develop the Port of Taichung as a regional hub and has signed agreements with some local partners that could provide gear locally.

MHI Vestas, a venture between Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Danish turbine maker Vestas, is also considering developing local manufacturing. “We want to produce locally because we want to be competitive,” the joint venture’s chief executive, Philippe Kavafyan, told Reuters.




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