Taiwan is becoming the next battleground for the world’s top offshore wind developers as they seek a foothold in Asia for a technology that has been expanding fast in Europe. Taiwan announced results Monday of its first major offshore wind farm auction that aims to add 3.8 gigawatts (GW) of capacity to its existing network of just 8 megawatts (MW). The island’s offshore wind market is expected to expand to 5.5 GW by 2025, and the government aims to invest $23 billion on onshore and offshore wind projects by 2025, law firm Jones Day says. Taiwan is making a big push to attract investments in renewable technology as it phases out nuclear power by 2025, after the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan highlighted the risks of using nuclear energy in a region prone to earthquakes. For developers in Europe, where expanding offshore wind projects particularly in the North Sea has driven down costs, Taiwan is seen as a route into Asian markets, such as Japan and South Korea, where the technology is still barely used. Denmark’s Orsted and Germany’s wpd were Monday’s biggest winners, securing contracts to install 900 MW and 1 GW of capacity, respectively. Offshore wind power is costlier than onshore projects or solar power, and still only accounts for about 3.5 percent of global wind energy capacity. But Europe has been leading the way in using the technology, adding 3 GW last year and taking total offshore capacity to 19 GW, according to the Global Wind Energy Council. Costs have plunged as a result. In last week’s auction in Germany, the world’s second-biggest offshore wind power market, some bids offered capacity with no subsidies. In Britain, the world’s biggest market, the cost of wind power fell below new nuclear generation for the first time last year.
Voice of America 30th April 2018 read more »