Taiwan brings forward draft of offshore wind agenda

13 August 2019 - 12:00 am UTC

Taiwan’s government is planning to finish the first draft of the third phase of its offshore wind development agenda by the end of August, months earlier than the original date scheduled for the end of the year.


The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA) will look to submit the plan on how to award the new offshore wind capacity from 2026 to 2030 for a review by the Executive Yuan, or the island’s de facto cabinet, a spokesperson told Inframation.


The MoEA will then either revisit the five-year plan based on feedback from the cabinet or move on to execution via its Bureau of Energy (BoE) in case it is approved.


New leading energy developers from Germany, Japan, France, and the Netherlands have approached the MoEA to express their interest in the third phase and learn more about the market, the spokesperson said.


“Now we have a clearer time frame on the third phase development as compared with earlier this year,” he said, declining to elaborate on whether the government would raise the current 5GW capacity target as proposed for this phase.


The release of the next five-year plan, which already drew attention from existing players such as Orsted and Taipower, was previously predicted to come during or after Formosa 1 — the island’s first offshore wind demonstration project — begins operations at the end of this year.


The authorities have considered options to award 1GW of offshore wind capacity every year from 2026 to 2030, or a total of 5GW in one go. It is also studying approaches to allocation of the capacity, which could include auction or selection.


As part of the efforts to work out the agenda, the BoE assessed conditions related to state utility Taipower’s grid connection and wind turbines, as well as the installation and maintenance of underwater foundations for the third phase.


In June last year, the Taiwanese authorities said the third phase would focus on the Zonal Development of a self-sustaining industry, with a vision to unlock the potential of sites at depths of more than 50 metres.​​​​​  


The Zonal Development plan will add to the 5.5GW already awarded last year to developers in the second phase commissioning between 2020 and 2025.


The second phase saw Taiwan grant approvals for a combined 5.5GW of projects through a 3.8GW project selection in April and a 1.7GW competitive tender in June. A combined 5GW capacity from eight projects failed to secure any or all the capacity they sought during the June auction and April project selection.


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