Offshore wind turbines to transform domestic energy industry

  • Date: 2016-11-12
  • Source: Department of Information Services, Executive Yuan
<p>20161112 (1).jpg</p>

Premier  Lin  Chuan  said  today  that  the  government  is  actively  developing  offshore  wind  power,  which  will  be  an  important  factor  in  transforming  Taiwan’s  overall  energy  structure.  While  inspecting  the  nation’s  first  two  offshore  wind  turbines  in  Miaoli  County,  just  completed  in  October,  the  premier  also  pledged  that  the  government  will  safeguard  neighboring  ocean  and  fishery  resources.

The  two  new  demonstration  turbines  show  that  Taiwan  has  entered  a  new  stage  in  the  development  of  offshore  wind  power,  bringing  new  opportunities  for  businesses  and  economic  prosperity,  while  also  serving  as  a  milestone  in  the  structural  transformation  of  the  nation’s  energy  industry,  the  premier  said.

Lacking  natural  energy  resources,  Taiwan’s  economic  development  relies  on  energy  imports  and  nuclear  power  to  ensure  a  steady  supply  of  energy.  With  the  threat  of  global  climate  change  and  increasingly  grave  concerns  about  nuclear  safety,  developing  renewable  energy  has  become  an  international  trend,  and  Taiwan  urgently  needs  to  transform  its  energy  structure.

Rich  in  wind  and  solar  resources,  Taiwan  boasts  great  potential  for  wind  and  solar  power  generation,  Premier  Lin  said.  In  terms  of  industrial  development  and  domestic  market  growth,  promoting  the  offshore  wind  power  industry  will  increase  domestic  employment  opportunities,  improve  technologies  and  benefit  peripheral  businesses.  It  will  also  attract  more  international  enterprises,  which  will  help  Taiwan  accumulate  experience  in  the  manufacture,  maintenance  and  operation  of  wind  power  turbines  and  become  a  model  for  the  international  market.  There  is  still  a  lot  of  room  for  development  in  offshore  wind  power  generation,  as  countries  worldwide  are  still  at  the  startup  stage,  the  premier  said,  adding  that  Taiwan  would  have  to  get  a  head  start  in  the  field  to  secure  more  opportunities.

Next  year  will  also  see  significant  results  from  the  Executive  Yuan’s  solar  power  development  project,  the  premier  said,  adding  that  amendments  to  the  Electricity  Act  will  hopefully  expand  possibilities  for  solar  power  generation  and  make  solar  power  more  accessible.

Promoting  the  new  energy  policy  must  start  with  energy  conservation,  energy  storage,  energy  creation  and  system  integration,  the  premier  said.  The  government  will  proactively  develop  renewable  energy  sources  targeting  solar  and  wind  power,  introduce  “smart”  electric  meters  and  time-of-use  rate  structures,  and  help  domestic  energy  conservation  industries  grow.  Considering  the  uncertainties  associated  with  solar  and  wind  power  generation,  energy  storage  systems  should  be  incorporated  into  any  plans  to  distribute  electricity  and  maintain  a  stable  power  supply,  and  system  management  will  have  to  be  strengthened  as  well.

According  to  the  Ministry  of  Economic  Affairs  (MOEA),  in  the  year  2025  solar  and  wind  power  are  expected  to  account  for  20  percent  of  domestically  generated  electrical  power.  Installed  capacity  of  offshore  wind  power  is  projected  to  reach  3  million  kilowatts  that  year,  producing  an  estimated  11.1  billion  kilowatt  hours  of  green  energy  annually—or  4.3  percent  of  gross  electricity  generated—and  drive  investments  worth  NT$540  billion  (US$17.1  billion).

The  MOEA  also  said  that  formal  commercial  operations  for  the  two  completed  wind  turbines  are  scheduled  to  begin  in  the  first  quarter  of  next  year  to  demonstrate  the  feasibility  of  offshore  wind  turbine  installation-related  regulations,  technologies  and  finances.  Potential  offshore  wind  farm  locations  and  regulations  governing  location  planning  and  application  have  also  been  made  public  so  that  interested  investors  can  conduct  surveys  and  make  plans.  Offshore  wind  farms  will  be  promoted  in  geographical  sectors  to  achieve  economies  of  scale,  while  the  government  will  initiate  policy  measures  to  coordinate  environmental  assessments,  infrastructure  and  the  required  administrative  arrangements.