More than 500 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) are likely to be sold through a Taiwan Renewable Energy Certification Center program through the end of this year, driven by intense corporate demand for green energy, the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspections (BSMI) said yesterday.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs’ bureau administers the Taiwan Renewable Energy Certificate (T-REC) program.
Each certificate represents 1,000kWh of electricity from renewable sources.
The first deals were announced in May, with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) being the biggest buyer, the bureau said in a news release.
Speaking to the Taipei Times by telephone, BSMI division director Huang Chih-wen (黃志文) said that pent-up corporate demand for green energy explains the program’s quick adoption.
“A lot of the deals were in the works long before we opened the T-REC platform,” Huang said. “As soon as they saw that the first batch of transactions went smoothly, everybody jumped in.”
While the first batch involved mostly solar power, most of the upcoming deals will be from onshore wind projects, Huang said.
“We anticipate reaching 500 million kilowatt hours by the end of the year,” Huang said, adding that the exact schedule is uncertain because parties take their time before signing deals, which run for up to 20 years.
TSMC in May bought 38,259 certificates of the 38,318 available, the center’s Web site showed.
TSMC in July signed the Climate Group’s global RE100 pledge, promising to be “committed to 100 percent renewable electricity” by 2050.
Also in July, the firm inked the world’s largest corporate power purchase agreement with Danish energy giant Orsted A/S, buying all of the energy generated from Orsted’s 920 megawatt wind farm off Changhua County for its 20 year lifespan.
The bureau’s role includes working with Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) to track green electricity generators connected to the Taipower grid and electricity from the grid that goes to a green energy buyer.
Taipower charges NT$0.058 per kilowatt hour to “wheel” energy from renewable sources through its grid from supplier to producer.
An amendment last year to the Renewable Energy Development Act (再生能源發展條例) provided the legislative structure for T-REC, Huang said.
“The independent power producers are protected,” Huang said. “They can leave Taipower to sell their electricity to corporate offtakers at a higher price, but they have the option to return to Taipower at any time at the same rate that they were getting before they left.”
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