The nation would be 40 percent behind schedule this year for its offshore wind farm targets, the Bureau of Energy said yesterday, citing delays related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
However, it said its goal to have “5 gigawatts [GW] in the water by 2025” remains unchanged.
“According to our contracts, a minimum of 933 megawatts [MW] was supposed to join the grid this year, but with the disruption caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, we are expecting only 557 megawatts,” the bureau said.
Photo: Lin Jing-hua, Taipei Times
The government’s ambitious plans for offshore wind farms originally called for as much as 2.6GW of power from wind turbine generators to join the grid by the end of this year, but there have been numerous delays, including the 376MW Formosa 2 project off Miaoli County implementing two six-month delays and the 350MW Liwei project near Taoyuan being canceled due to concerns over aviation safety.
The COVID-19 outbreak in May came in the middle of the prime construction season, causing major disruption for vessels working on projects after the Central Epidemic Command Center barred foreigners without Alien Resident Certificates from entering the nation.
While fresh crews were allowed to enter under a “special project permission,” Energy Technology Division Director Chen Chung-hsien (陳崇憲) said that receiving permission had been “onerous.”
Companies say that the inability to rotate crews has not just caused project delays, but also mental health issues for workers.
“The timing is very unfortunate,” said Raoul Kubitschek, a renewable energy expert at the Taiwan branch of consultancy NIRAS Gruppen A/S. “We have until October before the monsoon makes it impossible to work at sea for the rest of the year.”
Work would then restart in March next year and Kubitschek said that the knock-on effects might make it difficult to catch up.
“There will be bottlenecks, such as availability of harbor space, that will make it difficult to catch up on the lost time,” he said.
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