An offshore wind turbine in the waters off Taiwan. Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs says it is aiming for 20% renewable energy production by the middle of this decade.
Billy HC Kwok | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A large-scale offshore wind farm in the waters off the coast of Taiwan has produced its first force, with those involved in the project describing the news as an “important milestone.”
In a statement on Thursday, the Danish energy company Orsted said that the first power at the Greater Changhua 1 & 2a plant was delivered according to plan after the installation of its first set of wind turbines.
Electricity, it said, had been “transferred to Ørsted’s onshore transformer stations via array cables, offshore transformer stations and export cables. The renewable energy was supplied to the national grid via Taipower’s transformer station.” Taipower is a state-owned utility.
Located 35 to 60 kilometers off the west coast of Taiwan, the extent of Changhua 1 & 2a is significant, and Orsted describes it as “Taiwan’s largest offshore wind farm.”
It will have a capacity of approximately 900 megawatts and use 111 turbines from Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy. Capacity refers to the maximum amount of electrical installations that can produce, not what they necessarily generate.
It is hoped that the construction of the project will be completed this year. According to Orsted, the plant will eventually generate enough power to meet the needs of 1 million households in Taiwan.
“Delivering the first power as planned is a major milestone for both Orsted and Taiwan,” said Christy Wang, general manager of Orsted Taiwan. “This has not been an easy task, especially with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic over the last two years,” Wang later added.
Thursday’s announcement represents a step forward for Taiwan’s offshore wind sector, but a report by the Global Wind Energy Council, released in April, highlighted how things have not all been ordinary.
“Taiwan should have taken more than 1 GW into use [gigawatt] of offshore wind capacity from three projects last year based on the COD project [commercial operation date] plans, but only the 109 MW Changhua demonstration came online eventually, “the Global Wind Report for 2022 said. The delay, GWEC added, was” primarily caused by COVID-19-related disruptions. “
In Asia, the GWEC report places Taiwan only next to China in terms of planned short-to-medium-term offshore wind installations.
According to the trade association, China is expected to add 39 GW of offshore wind over the next five years, with Taiwan set to install 6.6 GW. Vietnam, South Korea and Japan are considered to add 2.2, 1.7 and 1 GW respectively.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs says it is aiming for 20% renewable energy production by the middle of this decade.
“The goal of PV [photovoltaic] the installation is set at 20GW in 2025, while offshore wind power is expected to exceed 5.7GW, “it says. Solar cells refer to a way to directly convert sunlight into electricity. Authorities in Taiwan also want natural gas to account for 50% of electricity production in 2025
Moving Taiwan’s generational mix to one where renewable energy plays a bigger role represents a major task. Referring to data from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Taiwan’s Foreign Trade Office says that 44.69% of total electricity production in 2021 came from coal burning.
Natural gas’s share was 36.77%, with nuclear power responsible for 9.63% and renewable energy 5.94%. Fuel oil and pumped hydropower contributed 1.87% and 1.10%, respectively.