Offshore wind
Source: Unsplash

While Chinese jets have been flying over the Taiwan Strait stirring up tensions in the air, off of Taiwan’s west coast lies an area packed with offshore wind turbines. Taiwan Strait has some of the highest wind speeds in the world, and the Taiwanese government is encouraging international investments to build wind farms along the west coast. 

Strong winds in Taiwan Strait

According to analyses performed by NASA, east of the Taiwan Strait, coastal areas off of Changhua measures an average wind speed of more than 7m/s, and an average wind power density of more than 750W/m2 all year long.

Moreover, according to the Global Offshore Wind Speeds Ranking”, 16 of the world’s 20 most ideal wind sites are located in the Taiwan Strait, a report published by international consultancy company 4C Offshore. Inarguably, Taiwan’s offshore wind power development has great potential.

The Taiwanese government

Taiwan had begun developing land-based wind farms in 2000 and initiated offshore wind farms in 2013.

But even with a favorable environment, the industry won’t build itself unless appropriate plans are set in place. It was not until 2018 that the Taiwanese government decided to undertake large offshore wind projects intensively. In October 2020, President Tsai Ing-wen encouraged international wind power companies to invest in western Taiwan and further incorporating local suppliers to be part of the offshore wind power supply chain for the Asia Pacific region.

The island nation’s goal is to reach 5.7GW by 2025 and to reach 10GW in the next decade by 2035, this will bring huge opportunities to domestic component suppliers.

Investors and ongoing projects

Some of the investors include Northland Power and Yushan Energy which is partnering with Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy in establishing the Hai Long offshore wind farm project off of Changhua consisting of 3 wind farms and is set to operate by 2024, with a total capacity of 1,044MW. 

Formosa 3 (Haiding) offshore wind project is the largest offshore wind project under development in Taiwan which includes 3 offshore wind farms, located 35-60km off the coast of Changhua County, with a total potential capacity up to 2GW estimated to power 2 million households. The project is jointly developed by JERA, GIG and EnBW.

Globally

By the end of 2020, Taiwan has a wind power capacity of up to 853.71MW and had generated 2,433GWh in 2020.

In the future, there will be 1,000 turbines off of Taiwan’s west coast potentially creating a huge opportunity for the local supply chain. With the Biden administration actively urging for renewable energy, the global offshore wind farm is growing rapidly with an expectation to reach over 20GW by 2025, a 18.6% growth. Eyeing on the next decade, Asia Pacific is estimated to hold 120GW and the US and Europe each to reach 30GW and 60GW by 2030 indicating an explosive decade of growth for offshore wind power.

Now is a critical time to see whether Taiwan can also be a part of this important industry.

 

Sources: WealthMagazine, bnext, commonwealth, offShoreWindBiz