Sat, Mar 09, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Infrastructure, clear regulations key for offshore wind farms

Staff writer, with CNA

Robust infrastructure and a clear regulatory framework are the key elements in the nation’s efforts to develop offshore wind farms, foreign industry representatives said at a forum in Taipei on Wednesday.

Taiwan is moving fast to introduce offshore wind farms, said Martin Skiba, chairman of World Forum Offshore Wind (WFO), the first organization dedicated to fostering the global growth of offshore wind energy and the forum’s organizer.

As the sector is just emerging, there are challenges that need to be addressed, Skiba said.

Typical challenges are the inability to develop robust infrastructure, including reinforcement of onshore grid networks and harbor facilities to better install transmission lines, he said.

The biggest concern about investing in Taiwan is the need for a clear and detailed industry road map, Germany-based Innogy director of offshore investment and asset management Richard Sandford said.

While recognizing that Taiwan has set a goal of generating 5.5 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2025, Sandford said the related regulatory framework is not in place.

“You’ve got the target, which is great,” he said, adding that there are no details as yet about bidding on tariffs, for instance, including how often auctions would be held and how much generating capacity is to be auctioned.

“We don’t yet know the details of the rules,” he said. “Having clarity over the regulatory work would be very useful.”

WFO members have set a target of generating more than 500 gigawatts of installed capacity by 2050 worldwide, based on them adding a record total of 5 gigawatts last year.

Skiba said he is not sure what proportion Taiwan would contribute by then, but added that Asia is likely to produce between 300 and 350 gigawatts, making it the biggest market in the sector.

There are no Taiwanese companies directly involved in the WFO yet, but interested local companies in the offshore wind farm supply chain are welcome to join the group, he said.

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