The soon-to-be completed offshore wind farm in Taiwan is expected to generate power for 1 million households.  

A large-scale offshore wind farm in waters off the west coast of Taiwan has produced its first power, marking a “major milestone” in the island’s renewable energy and net-zero transition. 

Situated 35-60km off of Changhua County, the Greater Changhua 1 & 2a facility is described to be “Taiwan’s biggest offshore wind farm”. Orsted, the Danish energy company that co-owns the wind farm, announced on April 21 that Greater Changhua 2a has successfully delivered power to its onshore substations via array cables, offshore substations, and export cables. Electricity is also being fed into the Taiwan national grid via Taipower – the state-owned utility – substation.

“Delivering the first power as scheduled is a major milestone for both Orsted and Taiwan,” said general manager of Orsted Taiwan Christy Wang, adding that it “has not been an easy task, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic challenges during the past two years.” 

The construction of the offshore wind farm is expected to be finalised this year, consisting of 111 wind turbines. The farm will have a capacity – the maximum amount of electricity installations can produce – of about 900 megawatts, and aims to generate enough power to meet the demand for 1 million households in Taiwan.

Taiwan’s geolocation in the junction of the East and South China Seas and the northwestern Pacific Ocean makes it ideal to scale up its wind power generation, especially in offshore wind. Government officials have said it targets to reach up to 20% renewable energy generation by 2030, including solar where the domestic goal for solar PV installations has been set to 20GW by 2025. 

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Based on near-to midterm planned offshore wind installations, Taiwan is only second to China, with plans to add 6.6GW and 39GW respectively over the next five years. Other leading wind installation countries are Vietnam, South Korea and Japan, who are targeting to add 2.2, 1.7 and 1 GW respectively during the same timeframe. 

Though the new offshore wind farm is certainly a large step forward for Taiwan’s net-zero transition – a goal to be met by 2050 – Taiwanese authorities intend to remain dependent on natural gas for at least 50% of its power generation in the short term,

In 2021, 44.69% of Taiwan’s total power generation was from coal, according to data from the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Natural gas contributed to 36.77% while nuclear and renewables provided for 9.63% and 5.94% repetitively.  

EO’s Position: The world is rapidly losing sight of being able to stay under the 1.5C limit of global temperature rise to avoid the catastrophic impacts of climate change. We need to rapidly scale up renewable energy generation as quickly as possible. While offshore wind is still an emerging sector in Asia, with strong investment and inter-connected regional grids over the next 10 year, it has the potential to become the baseload generator of renewable energy in the region.

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