Taiwan is to divide its much anticipated Third Round of offshore wind into three auctions, of 1 GW and two of 2 GW and is not planning to auction the entire 5 GW that is up for grabs in one go, which may disappoint developers
RCG Taiwan director Raoul Kubitschek said the first auction, for 1 GW of capacity for 2026 would take place in Q2 2021. The second auction, for a further 2 GW of capacity for 2027/28, will take place in Q2 2022 and the third auction, for another 2 GW for 2029/30, will take place in Q2 2023.
Mr Kubitschek said, “There is still public discussions to be had” about the proposals and said it is unlikely that the Taiwanese Government will achieve economies of scale with such an approach.
Offshore Wind Consultants analyst Howard Hu told OWJ, “The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) held the first public hearing on 19 June, to announce details of the first draft of Round 3. The MOEA aims to finalise the rule in Q4 2020.”
Mr Hu said the plan would prioritise offshore windfarms located in water depths of less than 50 m and a two-phase review of projects would take place. The first phase would take the form of a qualification review looking at environmental impact assessments, technical and financial capability of the proponents of projects and localisation commitments. The second will take the form of price bidding with a potential price cap applied. It is expected that project size will be limited to a maximum of 0.5 GW per project and 2 GW per developer.
Mr Hu said developers feel that insufficient capacity is being released for localisation at a level that the Taiwanese authorities would like to see. Developers would like to see a one-time, larger release or a change of capacity sequence to 2 GW plus 2 GW plus 1 GW, he suggested.
Asia Wind Energy Association board member Edgare Kerkwijk said, “It is good to see that the government is keeping its promise about 5 GW more offshore wind. It shows that Taiwan is committed to further building out its offshore wind capacity and to become of the leading offshore wind country in the region.
“Until the announcement late last year, there was a lot of uncertainty among developers and investors. A clear path has now been set for Taiwan to go beyond 10 GW of installed capacity.
“This will also strengthen the commitment of companies like Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy and MHI Vestas, who are building facilities in the country which could act as regional supply bases in the future.”
Mr Kerkwijk confirmed that “there is a bit of rumbling” in the industry regarding the fact that the 5 GW is going to be auctioned in three phases.
“Many had hoped that it would be auctioned in one go, all 5 GW,” he said. “However, the size of each of the auctions, 1 GW, 2 GW and 2 GW, is sufficiently sizeable to keep developers and investors interested.
“The plan also shows that the government is being careful in its approach and doesn’t want to make mistakes. I suspect that the reason for the staged approach to auctions is that the government wants to see earlier commitments fulfilled – that is, projects that have already been awarded – and that it expects to obtain lower prices in subsequent auctions.
“Taiwan is following a similar approach to other countries who use annual auctions to achieve their long-term targets. Taiwan is no different to many others. Economies of scale are still able to be obtained between projects and developers. All in all, I believe the announcement is an important step for the continuous growth of the Taiwanese and regional offshore wind market.”