2019 Global Offshore Wind Summit – Key takeaways
The ECCT's Low Carbon Initiative (LCI) together with the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) have just completed a very successful Global Offshore Wind Summit over three days from 24-26 April. Here are the key takeaways:
- The summit was the largest and most prominent event on offshore wind energy held in Taiwan to date. Most of the world's top industry players were represented at the summit and all of them have either already set up shop in Taiwan or plan to do so in the near future.
- All participants expressed optimism that Taiwan has the potential and is on track to become a regional hub for offshore wind energy development in Asia.
- By partnering with European players, which are global leaders in offshore wind, Taiwan can learn from their experience and thereby avoid pitfalls, shorten the learning curve and speed up Taiwan's development.
- The Taiwan government is fully supportive. A development pipeline has been set for every year until 2030. Moreover, state-owned Taiwan Power Company has a budget and development timetable to set up grid infrastructure to accommodate offshore wind capacity as it comes online.
- There were frank discussions on the subject of localisation. There was general consensus on the need for and the potential benefits of localisation but also a recognition that no country has ever achieved 100% localisation. Therefore, there is a need for realistic expectations when setting localisation plans as well as for flexibility in making changes after the fact. This is not only to take into account local capacity and quality constraints but also to allow for future changes to take advantage of advances in technology.
- Government representatives acknowledged that if local suppliers are to succeed they need to be internationally competitive in terms of quality and price for their own sake and to ensure the healthy development of the local industry.
- The skills shortage will be difficult to overcome: Besides equipment and infrastructure, there is a large skills shortage ranging from technical, administrative and support services for every part of the industry supply chain. Industry and government players all expressed the need to work together with one another and academic and research institutes to develop programmes aimed at bridging the gap.
- Seeing is believing: Participants recognise the need for better communication with the public on the benefits of wind energy in terms of increasing Taiwan's energy security, reducing pollution, creating a new local industry and jobs. In this regard, the government and industry should showcase the first wind farm when it comes online (which is expected in 2H19) and continue to do so when subsequent wind farms come on line.
Besides the full-day wind summit on 25 April, the ECCT and GWEC also arranged a roundtable of municipal and corporate leaders on 24 April in Taichung and a forum on green finance on 26 April. You can read detailed reports on all 3 events by clicking on the links below.