The launch date for Taiwan’s Round 3 offshore wind programme – which is expected to see development of 5 GW of offshore wind from 2026 to 2030 with another 5 GW to follow – remains unclear, with some industry sources expecting it by the end of March 2020 and others citing the end of Q2 2020 as a more likely date
The situation regarding the likely launch date is complicated by disagreements in the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and the growing coronavirus problem.
Sources speaking to OWJ said the three main ‘guiding principles’ for the next stage of developing Taiwan’s offshore wind sector are clear – they include a commitment to 1 GW per year for five years, cost reduction and further localisation – but there is little consensus about when the regulation might be promulgated by the MOEA.
AqualisBraemar group marketing director John MacAskill said reports suggest the legislation could still be published by the end of March 2020. It is expected that the bidding mechanism will combine localisation and price elements, “however, there is room for comment and discussions.”
Global Wind Energy Council Asia director Liming Qiao told OWJ the MOEA “is working on Round 3 now and the likelihood is that it will be finalised in the first half of the year.”
RCG Taiwan director Raoul Kubitschek agreed that promulgation of the draft regulation could happen as soon as the end of March, with 30-60 days of consultation and another 60-90 days for the first tender to be issued, but the situation remains fluid.
“The challenge is that Taiwan has announced Round 3 periodically since the end of 2018,” said Mr Kubitschek. “There are currently two factions in the agency, one taking the speed out of it and publicly messaging they will not promulgate the legislation until end of the year and one that only yesterday placed another article that said, ‘this month.’ Both use government-leaning publications.
“The current government position for the first phase of Round 3 (Round 3-1) is 1 GW per year, with developers with environmental impact assessments (EIAs) with preferred status and more localisation, although 1 GW/year actually seems quite challenging given the grid infrastructure.”
Mr Kubitschek said an Industrial Development Bureau meeting intended for 18 March had been cancelled. “With escalating coronavirus cases now in Taiwan, I would say it is quite possible there will be nothing promulgated now before the end of March,” he concluded.
As highlighted in OWJ’s recent review of the Taiwanese market, much work remains to be done to bridge the gap between the government’s ambitions and what developers regard as realistic.
Overall, Round 3 should see 10 GW come online between 2026 and 2035, with the auction process likely to take place in two phases.
Round 3-1 windfarms would be implemented between 2026 and 2030, and will comprise 5 GW in total, of which 2-3 GW of capacity will be prioritised from EIA-approved projects that were not successful in Round 2.
A second auction round, Round 3-2, for a further 5 GW of offshore wind, to be built in 2031-35, will take place subsequently.