Sep 24, 2019 Business & Finance Comments Off on German investors eyeing offshore wind power market in Taiwan
Taipei-Taiwan has great potential to develop offshore wind energy but there remain challenges that need to be addressed, according to several German representatives from the industry who attended an offshore wind power forum that opened in Taipei Tuesday.
"(Taiwan has) very favorable natural conditions. It has wind speeds exceeding 11 meters per second, which is really good," said Alexander Ohff, executive vice president of World Forum Offshore Wind (WFO), in the German-Taiwanese Offshore Wind Conference, organized by the German Trade Office Taipei.
There are many other positive prospects that could accelerate development in the country, including an ideal market size, a growing supply chain and political commitment, Ohff said.
He is a member of a German offshore wind power delegation visiting Taiwan from Tuesday to Thursday to seek opportunities for cooperation with the local industry.
WFO is a newly founded non-profit association dedicated to fostering the global growth of offshore wind energy.
The Taiwanese government has pledged that 20 percent of the country's power will come from renewable energy by 2025 and welcomes investment by foreign companies.
Daniel Gudopp, managing director of deea solutions GmbH, which provides engineering, economic and strategy advice in renewable energy, said he thinks Taiwan is a niche market as it is an island country with growing ability to maintain sustainable energy through high-tech and innovation.
Gudopp also said that the feed-in tariff (FIT) rate in Taiwan is reasonable at the moment.
Taiwan reduced the FIT rate for the offshore projects that sign power purchasing agreements with state-owned utility Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) this year to NT$5.516 per kilowatt hour, a 5.71 percent reduction from the 2018 rate of NT$5.8498 per unit.
Axel Limberg, chief representative and executive director of the German Trade Office Taipei, said Taiwan and Germany have a lot in common in developing offshore wind power.
Both sides have well-established manufacturing sectors, have plans to phase out nuclear power, and want to significantly increase the proportion of renewable energy in the near future, he said.
Meanwhile, Sabrina Schmidt-Koschella, deputy director-general of the German Institute Taipei, said Germany has played a big role in the development of wind farms in Taiwan.
"The first two offshore turbines in Taiwan were installed for a demonstration project off the coast of Miaoli -- German turbines provided by Siemens Gamesa," she noted.
Next year, the German developer wpd will start building an offshore wind project in Yunlin County that will comprise 67 turbines, according to Schmidt-Koschella.
There are challenges ahead, though, according to the representatives.
Ohff said risks of natural disasters in Taiwan such as typhoons and earthquakes require interested foreign investors to adjust their products and services to fit the market.
Claus Bardenhagen, senior sales manager of Business Development Taiwan, Rhenus Offshore Logistics GmbH and Co. KG, said Taiwan is currently short of necessary infrastructure and that there is a need to introduce more skilled personnel to the sector.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel
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