Taiwan Must Develop Off-shore Wind Power: Ørsted Chairman

taiwan off shore wind
Wind turbines at Gaomei Wetlands in Taichung. Photo by Maggie Chou via Wikimedia Commons

Every summer there are questions of whether Taipower can generate enough electricity to keep Taiwan running. There have been efforts to phase out the nuclear and coal power plants as well, with scant plans to replace the dearth of energy the closures would create (although there has been an effort to study the viability of geothermal power). As politicians debate how to turn Taiwan into a renewable energy hub, the island’s power plants grow older and less efficient.

Speaking at an SEMI press conference on June 13, Ørsted chairman for Taiwan Matthias Bausenwein said in his speech titled “Offshore wind power is an indispensable source of energy for Taiwan’s future” that Taiwan must develop off-shore wind power to bridge the gap due to the lack of energy generation. Bausenwein added that with the presidential election in 2020, renewable energy should not be a political topic and both parties need to create plans to ensure a stable power grid in Taiwan. He believes that the DPP and KMT should embrace off-shore wind power as the best option.

Bausenwein said that Taiwan will need approximately 20 billion kWh of electricity and a 5.5GW off-shore wind power plant would help achieve that target, with the possibility of bringing the total to 30 billion kWh.

He added that autumn and winter months would provide the best conditions for wind power, and such renewable energy would improve air quality in the region. Last year, the Taiwanese government announced that it would invest about $23 billion in onshore and off-shore wind energy by 2025, Reuters reported.

Eight wind power companies joined the Taiwan Offshore Wind Industry Association (台灣離岸風電產業協會), which was established on Thursday at the press conference. The Taiwan Wind Energy Association will offer more information about off-shore wind power at Energy Taiwan 2019 at Nangang Exhibition Hall on October 16-18.

According to an earlier press release from the Taiwan Wind Energy Association, the first phase of the Ørsted off-shore wind farm in Changhua County will have a total capacity of 900MW, enough electricity to power the homes for 1 million Taiwanese residents. The project will be completed in 2021-22. In 2018, Taiwan’s wind power capacity reached about 704MW, generating approximately 1.68 billion kWh.

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