Taiwan Further Jeopardising Offshore Wind Plans?

Taiwanese government watchdog, Control Yuan, has issued a report which is said to point to a number of shortcomings in the country’s offshore wind development plan, according to local media.

The report states that the 20-year Feed-in-Tariffs (FiTs) for the offshore wind projects are ”above global benchmarks” and that they ”do not take into consideration the falling Levelized Cost of Energy” brought about by ”technological advances and the economies of scale.”

The Ministry of Economic Affairs has argued against this, saying that the rate is TWD 0.1 above the UK’s, and TWD 4 below the rate in Japan.

The news comes shortly after the Ministry of Economic Affairs proposed a 12.7% reduction in FiTs for offshore wind projects that sign their Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with Taipower in 2019 as compared to the current rate.

Currently, the FiT for projects that sign their PPAs by the end of 2018 would be TWD 5.8498/kWh (USD 0.1897/kWh). For projects that sign PPAs in 2019, the ministry has proposed FiTs of TWD 5.106/kWh (USD 0.1656/kWh). The proposal has been met with resistance from the developers such as Ørsted. The ministry plans to hold public hearings on the proposed cut.

The report by Control Yuan, however, goes beyond the FiTs, and has criticised the ministry’s site selection and capacity allocation procedures. It also reportedly states that ”the review committee is not handling cases in line with regulations, and that most of its members have conflicts of interest.”

Taiwan’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Shen Jong-chin, has argued against these findings, saying that the offshore wind plan ”adheres to the law and there are no compliance issues”.

Control Yuan has also taken aim at the ministry’s build-out timeline according to which 16 projects must be completed in the next seven years, saying that the timeline does not take into consideration the challenges of developing a local supply chain.

Taiwan awarded a total of 5.5GW of offshore wind capacity in two separate tendering rounds in April and June.

Offshore wind developers that secured the rights to build wind farms are obligated to sign PPAs for the projects with the state-owned Taipower by the end of 2019.