The British Office Taipei yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding with Taiwan International Ports Corp (TIPC) in Kaohsiung, saying that it is happy to share experiences and techniques for the development of offshore wind farms with Taiwan.
The signing ceremony took place at the opening of the three-day Asia-Pacific Wind Energy Expo at the Kaohsiung Exhibition Center, where the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, Singapore and the US have set up national pavilions alongside the booths of individual firms.
The total installed capacity of the UK’s offshore wind farms has reached 7.6 gigawatts (GW) — the world’s largest — which Britain aims to increase to 30GW by 2030, British Representative to Taiwan Catherine Nettleton said, delivering her speech in Mandarin.
The British government last week unveiled an offshore wind sector deal, vowing to devote more resources to promoting technical innovation, talent cultivation and intellectual property management along with industries, she said.
Asked if the office had received complaints about Taiwan’s unstable energy policy, like it did when European developers complained about a reduced feed-in tariff, Nettleton said that she would not describe Taiwanese policy decisions as unstable, but rather “part of an evolution.”
Taiwan might face some challenges at this stage, but developing renewable energy sources is a “win-win-win” situation for it, as well as the world, in terms of mitigating global climate change effects, boosting Taiwan’s economy and reducing its pollution by fossil fuels, Nettleton told the Taipei Times on the sidelines of the expo.
While the British government does not plan to build an offshore wind farm in Taiwan, it aims to bring to Taiwan key British players in the industry’s supply chain, British Office Taipei infrastructure head Lynn Li said.
Every offshore wind farm project in Taiwan is partially backed by some British firms, which are contracted by major energy developers, such as Danish firms Orsted and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, to assist in their construction work in Taiwan, she said.
The construction of Taiwan’s first exclusive wharf for offshore wind farm work at the Port of Taichung has been completed, while that of four other wharves at the port would be finished next year, TIPC Port of Taichung president Chung Ying-feng said.
The government plans to increase the contribution from renewable energy sources from 4.9 percent in 2017 to 20 percent by 2025, including 5.5GW generated by offshore wind farm projects.
Despite ongoing debate about energy transformation in Taiwan, developing renewable energy sources is an irresistible trend, as transitioning firms, including Apple Inc, have started to require that their suppliers go green, Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Tseng Wen-sheng said.