Global Offshore Wind Summit
The ECCT’s Low Carbon Initiative (LCI) and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) hosted the Global Offshore Wind Summit. The full-day event gathered both local and global investment groups, energy companies, project developers and regulators to discuss the promising future of Taiwan’s booming offshore wind energy market. It was coorganised by the Taiwan International Ports Corporation (TIPC) and the Chinese International Economic Cooperation Association (CIECA) and endorsed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and the Green Energy Industry Promotion Center. At the event opening remarks were made the guests of honour. The programme included keynote speeches by government and industry leaders, a CEO roundtable forum and sessions on building the local supply chain, grid integration and grid-related technologies, offshore wind turbine technology and the optimisation of electricity output, standardisation, certification and training needs in offshore wind.
Guests of honour
Shen Jong-chin, Minister, Ministry of Economic Affairs
Giuseppe Izzo, ECCT Chairman
Ben Blackwell, CEO, Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC)
In his remarks Minister Shen said that the status and scale of the global offshore wind summit shows that Taiwan is receiving global attention commensurate with the enormous potential given Taiwan’s ideal offshore wind conditions, with some of and best sites in the world. He went on to say that the government making every effort to improve the infrastructure and regulatory system in order to attract the best international players in the industry to Taiwan. He noted that the attendance of the Taoyuan mayor at the summit also indicated local government support. The minister reported that, following the awarding of a number of projects last year, construction has started on a number of projects already, resulting in increased activity in Taichung Port. For example, turbines for the first projects have already arrived and the minster said he expects 20 offshore wind turbines to be up and running in Miaoli by the end of the year. He expressed the view that Taiwan will establish and be able to maintain a lead in offshore wind industry development in future, creating local industry stars in the process.
In his remarks, Giuseppe Izzo quoted 16-year-old Swedish activist, Greta Thunberg’s call for urgent action to tackle climate change before 2030 action or face the consequences of irreversible climate change. He went on to say that electricity generation is currently responsible for the largest share of global carbon emissions and with the rise of digitalization, automation and the electrification of the transport sector, this share will continue to rise in future. Therefore, making the transition from fossil fuel sources to zero emission alternatives for electricity generation should be the world’s No. 1 sustainability priority. The good news is that Taiwan has the potential to become an energy transition leader by creating one of the world’s largest offshore wind energy markets. Besides the environmental benefits of lower emissions and cleaner air, the wind energy industry promises to create new corporate champions, thousands of jobs and multiplier effects for the economy. However, the chairman expressed the hope that development could be expedited following recent amendments to the Renewable Energy Act and by action from authorities to resolve the remaining grid infrastructure and other issues. He stressed the point that, given the enormous cost and complexity of offshore wind energy, we have to get things right the first time by studying and acting upon the lessons learnt from other markets to ensure a smooth development roll-out and setting realistic targets for localization that do not slow down progress or compromise on quality and safety.
In his remarks, Ben Blackwell reiterated Chairman’s Izzo’s sentiments that we need to ramp up investments rapidly. In order to speed up the energy transition necessary to address climate change, five times more capacity will be needed in renewable energy. Offshore wind is a big part of the solution. In addition to turbines arriving, harbours are being upgraded and training centres are being set up in Taiwan. Wind energy is the power industry of the 20th century. With the partnership of central and local governments, we will see a transformative effect that will serve as an example to Asia and the world.
Topic: Policy of offshore wind in Taiwan
Speaker: Lee Chun-li, Acting Director-General, Bureau of Energy (BOE), Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA)
The speaker gave a history and update of the government’s energy transition motivations and plans, making the point that the government recognises the value of renewables to increase energy security, reduce pollution and create economic benefits.
According to the BOE, 270 terawatt hours of electricity was generated in 2017 in Taiwan, of which over 85% came fossil fuels and only 4.6% from renewables. He reiterated the government’s targets of 5.7 gigawatts (GW) of installed offshore wind capacity by 2025 and 1.2GW onshore.
Based on the government’s analysis, while there is potential for 48GW of offshore capacity, feasible potential (after taking into account environmental, navigational, and other factors) 10.5GW is currently feasible and another 10GW will be feasible in the future with new technology, such as floating turbines.
According to the speaker, things are moving smoothly and the demonstration offshore projects have worked well in spite of typhoons and earthquakes. The speaker reiterated the goal mentioned by Minister Shen of installing 20 offshore turbines by the end of 2019. He expressed the view that if the public sees the real success of initial projects, they will have more confidence in the industry’s potential.
Regarding industry development, the minister said that the government will take an incremental approach to allow the industry to develop and grow. For a start, it is a prerequisite that all projects have to pass environmental impact assessments (EIAs), which are difficult to pass. Nevertheless, projects totalling over 10GW in capacity have already passed EIAs, and will be implemented between 2021 and 2022. The speaker stressed the need for cooperation with all developers and between central and local authorities. To help to get the support of the local authorities, the central government has now revised policies to increase the benefits derived from wind projects to local governments. For example, in the past all rental income from land went to the central government. Following the revision, rental income will be shared with local governments.
Besides the 10.5GW already allocated, another 5GW will be allocated in the future. The speaker said that authorities hope to add an additional 1GW per year after 2025. Before making announcements, the government will hold public meetings to talk about grid connections, among other factors.
In terms of benefits, by 2025 the domestic output is expected to exceed NT$77 billion and create 20,000 jobs while foreign and domestic investment is estimated to exceed NT$1 trillion.
Topic: Benefits to local economy of the offshore industry
Speaker: Cheng Wen-tsan, Mayor, Taoyuan City Government
The mayor said that besides having the right regulatory framework and government policies, for the wind energy industry to thrive, it needs the support from local governments and for the media to present accurate information.
While other areas of Taiwan have been given more prominence as locations for wind energy, Taoyuan also has good sites for wind energy. Given its large industrial output and population, Taoyuan consumes 13% of Taiwan’s power, according to Cheng. The city is supportive of developing the local wind power industry in Taoyuan. This will build on its previous and ongoing efforts to promote green energy (the city has already increased its solar capacity 23-fold in recent years and provides subsidies for energy savings and equipment). The city has approved an application for a wind farm project, which is going ahead.
Another factor that has been overlooked in the past is communicating effectively with local communities, such as the fishing industry. In this regard, the city cooperated with wpd to participate in Taoyuan’s recent agricultural expo to raise awareness and increase understanding of offshore wind. Taoyuan is also working with universities to develop educational programmes on wind energy.
According to Cheng, politicians and leaders all agree that offshore wind is important to the future and that we need to change people’s mindsets that investments in wind energy are worth making and that we also need to protect the environment.
Topic: Global wind energy update – The role of offshore wind in the global energy transition
Speaker: Ben Blackwell, CEO, GWEC
According to analysis cited by GWEC of potential areas to develop offshore wind, if just 1% of the potential areas were developed, the potential capacity is 630GW. Offshore wind energy capacity is growing more rapidly than onshore. Just based on the current pipeline, the global capacity is expected to reach 126GW by 2030 but Blackwell believes this is quite conservative and he is confident that it will exceed 200GW by 2030. While offshore wind started in Europe, Asia is catching up fast and is likely to overtake Europe by 2023. North America is also an exciting potential market.
Growth is being driven by rapidly-falling costs, given economies of scale and new technologies (much larger and more efficient turbines). According to Blackwell, we can now say sincerely that offshore wind can compete on price in many markets. The UK now expects 30% of energy to come from wind by 2030.
GE’s latest turbine is almost as high as the Eifel tower. You need a large scale to achieve low prices. According to conventional wisdom, based on experience from Europe, you need to first install 3-4GW of capacity before you can bring prices down from the benefits of the local supply chain.
There is a clear correlation between ramp up and cost reductions as well as jobs in engineering, financing, IT and others. Taiwan has a unique opportunity to be a front-runner for building components and providing services for the wind energy industry in the region.
The wind energy industry needs a long-term partnership with government. This means that it is important to stick to agreements once made. Blackwell said that he is impressed with what the government has done so far and hopes that it will be continued. The next step is to spread the word about the benefits of wind energy and thereby increase public support for the industry.
Topic: Global offshore wind forecast
Speaker: Tom Harris, Lead of Offshore Wind Energy Research, Bloomberg New Energy Finance
Bloomberg expects a seven-fold increase in offshore wind energy capacity by 2030, with much of the new capacity being built in Asia (Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, India and elsewhere). The 10-12GW of new capacity per year will have implications for the supply chain and finance. Bloomberg expects China to remain the leading global market in 2030, followed by Germany.
Floating wind turbines are not yet cost-effective but should gradually decrease in price until they are comparable with fixed turbines by 2030. There are already some proven floating turbine projects but France is the only country so far committed to floating turbines.
The cost of wind energy depends on many factors. Besides equipment, you also have to take into account local content requirements, the cost of grid connections and transmission infrastructure. In some countries authorities pay for this and in others they make developers responsible for the costs, making it much more expensive for them. For example, in Belgium, authorities took care of infrastructure, making costs much cheaper for developers. In Taiwan, the first projects have been supported by FITs but prices in auctions have been 50% lower. However, adding local content requirements increases the costs. In contrast, if local content requirements are removed, prices will be much lower. Analysis of cost curves also shows how costs are initially high in new markets but gradually decrease as the market matures. According to Bloomberg’s analysis, markets need an initial capacity of around 3-4GW before they begin to see the cost benefits from project clustering, after which there is plenty of scope for further cost reductions.
In terms of project risk, these are reduced if local stakeholder engagement is high. In terms of construction risks, Europe made a lot of mistakes initially but Taiwan has the advantage here by involving experienced European players who can avoid repeating the errors made in Europe.
Project clusters reduce costs, especially maintenance, marine logistics and O&E management costs. Moreover, if a regional maintenance hub is established in Taiwan, this would help to spread the costs over multiple projects in the region.
CEO roundtable panel discussion
Moderator: Ben Blackwell, CEO, GWEC
Lars Bondo Krogsgaard, Co-CEO, MHI Vestas
Mark Dooley, Global Head of Green Investment Group, Macquarie Capital
Mike Crawley, President & CEO, Northland Power
Yuni Wang, Chairperson, wpd Taiwan Energy
Matthias Bausenwein, President of Asia Pacific, Orsted
Kasper Yttessen, Senior Vice President, Siemens-Gamesa Renewable Energy
Jesper Holst, CEO Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), CI Wind Power Taiwan
Panellists noted that offshore wind has now become mainstream and has the potential to account for a large-scale portion of the energy mix. Now that costs have been reduced to an affordable level, new markets are opening up.
Offshore wind is appealing as an investment given the scale and it has been a political win for politicians, which makes it easy to sell. Several panellists remarked that it is good to see a clear political commitment in Taiwan. Unlike other energy options, offshore wind energy requires a high degree of expertise, which gives early movers like Europeans a competitive edge. Early stage development projects require a blend of technology and financing skills that not everyone has at the moment. While the first investors could be seen as brave pioneers, there is now a very deep pool of money and more institutions have an appetite for investing capital. For example, even some pension funds are willing to take on development and construction risks.
European developers learnt a lot from construction mistakes but now have a large amount of accumulated data that makes projects much easier to implement. Half of Macquarie’s team are engineers, which is unusual for a finance firm and an indication of the need for a blend of engineering and financial expertise for offshore wind energy projects.
Government support is still crucial. Developers are not willing to enter the offshore business without clear government support. One of the great benefits of offshore wind compared to other renewables is the large potential scale for offshore wind, given the removal of land constraints. While there is clear central government support, not all local governments and communities are completely supportive yet.
Costs will reduce over time given an increase in the size of turbines and improvements in supply chains. Moreover, while there are very high start-up costs for setting up facilities for initial projects, the incremental costs for subsequent projects are not so large, which makes them so attractive.
Panellists noted that the way construction is done now is much more efficient than previously. Most of the construction and assembly process is done onshore in sections, which speeds up the process and allows turbines to be put in service as soon as possible so that they can start getting a return on investment.
A question was raised about whether or not there is an upper limit in terms of turbine size. R&D experts are working on this and the industry prefers to take incremental steps. It may be theoretically possible to make a 30MW turbine but size has to be balanced with other factors to determine the optimal generation of energy for any given location.
The case for offshore wind in Taiwan is clear just on the economic and energy transition arguments. Government support is positive but local content requirements have added complexity. For Taiwan to realise benefits there needs to be an open dialogue. The FIT does not come into effect until 2024. A lot could happen before then. For example, given constant advances in technology, the turbines that will be available in five years’ time may be much more efficient than those available today but rigid local content requirements and the need to submit and approve plans years in advance could prevent developers from using the most optimal solutions when they build their wind farms.
As a market for offshore wind, Taiwan is a no brainer because of the lack of good alternatives to offshore wind. No matter what the rest of Taiwan’s energy strategy looks like, offshore wind will be an essential part of the future energy mix. Fossil fuels will become more expensive while renewables will become cheaper and all political parties understand that renewables are essential for Taiwan. Raising renewables in the energy mix is a global trend. While parties may not all agree on the precise ideal energy mix, they cannot ignore the overall trend towards renewables.
On the subject of localisation, panellists noted that it is difficult to structure local content and to submit plans now to be delivered in five years. There is very little volume of local content at present and the costs of local suppliers are still nowhere near they should be. This raises a very political question of how to deliver lower costs and meet industrial objectives at the same time. One panellist suggested that Taiwan should seek to develop areas of specialisation rather than try to build the entire supply chain, noting that no country has ever succeeded in achieving 100% localisation and that building factories does not always produce the desired growth. Significant localisation requirements will have to be relaxed, according one panellist because the scale of project pipelines would not be sufficient to justify the investments required to manufacture some of the components in Taiwan. Another panellist stressed the point that for Taiwanese component makers to succeed, they need to be globally competitive and deliver products at world market prices.
Nevertheless European players recognise the need and benefits of localisation and several are actively reaching out to find and assist the development of local suppliers. While this adds to risk, Taiwan has no shortage of entrepreneurial spirit, which is something that Taiwan can be proud of. However, each project has unique challenges that require a flexible approach to localisation. For example, authorities have asked developers to use local vessels for installing turbines. Taiwan currently does not have the right vessels available or the qualified and experienced crew needed. If installation is not properly done, turbines could fail, thereby jeopardising the success and investments of entire projects. Investing in hardware is relatively easy but software, training and personnel takes longer. This is why local authorities should not prevent the use of foreign vessels and crew. In this regard it is not reasonable that vessel local content requirements for offshore wind are stricter than those for oil and gas.
On the question of public support, panellists noted that there is still a lot of misinformation being spread in the media and online. For example, many people believe that nuclear energy is the largest source of energy in Taiwan. The wind energy potential is an excellent story to tell but all stakeholders need to do a better job of telling the story in Taiwan. This will become easier after September this year when the first wind farm becomes operational. The industry should use this opportunity to show Taiwan the benefits of wind energy in terms of producing energy, reducing pollution and creating jobs and industry opportunities for local suppliers. This type of concrete example is much more convincing than any other kind of promotion by the wind energy industry.
Afternoon Main Session:
Moving Taiwan’s offshore wind to the next level – Building the local supply chain, infrastructure and manpower
Topic: Promotion of localisation in the offshore wind power industry
Speaker: Yang Chih-ching, Deputy Director-General, Industrial Development Bureau (IDB), MOEA
The speaker outlined Taiwan’s offshore wind roll-out timetable and mechanisms to achieve localisation. Six developers have been selected to develop 10 wind farms. All of them have been asked to prepare supply chain programmes. Yang expressed the view that localisation should be a win-win for all. He also acknowledged that local companies should not just be thinking about being local suppliers but should aim to become global suppliers just like Taiwanese tech companies that became suppliers to Apple.
According to the speaker, 76 meetings were held with various stakeholders since 2017 to come up with the localisation timetable, which was announced in January last year with a period to solicit public comments. Many local companies have already started making major investments to expand their production capacity to meet the demands of the development timetable.
In his concluding remarks, Yang acknowledged that local suppliers need to prove their worth to foreign developers and that the MOEA is ready to work with foreign developers to serve as platform to connect partners and increase local capacity.
Topic: Offshore wind market pricing trends
Speaker: Mark Hutchinson, Vice President, Head of APAC Power and Renewables Consulting, Wood Mackenzie
The speaker gave an overview and forecasts for global trends. Based on analysis he cited, Taiwan will emerge as the world’s fourth largest offshore market globally after China, the US, The Netherlands and Germany. The top five companies will have the largest great market share but there are still opportunities for smaller players.
It is difficult to balance localisation with development objectives. Localisation requirements may create jobs initially but will raise costs, which consumers will ultimately have to pay for.
Wood Mackenzie does analysis of the costs of components and the impact on electricity prices. Turbines and foundations offer over US$15 billion market potential by 2024 for Taiwan. However, he stressed the point that Taiwan also needs to be competitive as suppliers to other markets.
Topic: Taiwan grid development plan and challenges of grid integration
Speaker: Liu Yuin-hong, System Planning Department, Taiwan Power Company (Taipower)
The speaker gave an overview of Taipower’s grid connection capacity preparation plans. According to the speaker, Taipower will add grid infrastructure for 10.65GW of capacity by 2025, in order to cater to the needs of the offshore wind developers. Currently there is existing capacity of 3.51GW and an additional 7.14GW of capacity is under construction. Authorities have already approved a budget of US$2 billion and started work in January 2018. Work is scheduled to be completed by December 2025.
Most of the grid connection capacity will be in the Changhua area (6.5GW). Capacity will be phased in with 1GW by 2021, 1.5GW by 2024 and 2GW in 2025 and an additional 2GW in the southern area of Changhua (although there are no wind farms there yet). An additional 0.64GW will be added in the Taoyuan area by 2025. As part of the development plan, new cable lines will be laid and some lines will be upgraded in central and northern Taiwan.
The speaker also set out some of the challenges that need to be overcome. The so-called duck-curve, the imbalance between peak daily solar energy production and demand is one such challenge [although peak demand for air-conditioning in Taiwan happily coincides with peak solar production]. As for wind energy, consistent winds in the Taiwan Strait make this less of an issue. Nevertheless, the inherent instability of renewable energy requires careful analysis and planning, including contingency plans both for lower-than-expected supply and excess supply. The speaker noted that Taipower will add a lot of LNG and pumped storage capacity (2.5GW target) and 1.5GW of storage, mostly from batteries, in order to deal with intermittent supply from renewables. The company is now in the process of setting up a smart grid to better control generation, dispatch, management and storage.
Topic: Building port infrastructure for offshore wind
Speaker: Chung Ying-feng, President, Port of Taichung and Vice President, Taiwan International Ports Corporation (TIPC)
The speaker noted that TIPC started preparing Taiwan’s ports for the wind energy industry four years ago. One quay in Taichung Port is already operational and others will come online this year and next, a development pace in line with those of developers.
Chung noted that ports need to adapt to facilities that meet current demands, such as very large 8-10MW turbines and that they may need to upgrade these facilities in future to meet demands to account for size and weight of turbines and foundations.
Other considerations are the risks and implications of delays due to bad weather or because distances from the port of some wind farms are considerable, as well as navigation safety. Chung said he had visited ports in Europe to learn from their experience in developing harbours.
Taichung Port has been designated as a turbine assembly centre given its good location and land availability. It will also serve as a manufacturing site for underwater foundations. The speaker proceeded to give detailed rundown of harbour development plans for the harbour.
Topic: Standardisation, certification and training needs in Taiwan
Speaker: Per Enggaard Haahr, Asia Pacific Regional Manager for Renewables Certification, DNV GL - Energy
DNV GL has been involved in most offshore wind farms globally in all phases of projects. Standardisation can facilitate commoditisation which can help to drive down costs and speed up the development process. There are a lot of existing standards in offshore wind but they can be localised for Taiwan’s conditions. In Taiwan, the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspections is responsible for technical standards for the wind energy industry.
According to the speaker, there will be a requirement for third party certification but it is not yet clear if certification should cover complete turbines or separate components.
Topic: Case of the first offshore wind farm in Taiwan – Formosa 1
Speaker Kimberly Cram, Senior Vice President, Macquarie
The speaker is the project director of Formosa 1. She introduced her company, and its local projects and partners, which include wind and solar projects. Formosa 1 is near the shore so there was no need for an offshore substation. In the project, two turbines have been in operation for two years, during which time they’ve endured earthquakes and typhoons and higher temperatures than Europe (which has required adjustments from standard practices in Europe). She noted that there is plenty of space available in Taiwan’s harbours but that they require upgrades. Monopiles for future projects are under construction and some are already in transit. The company is moving rapidly on site evaluation, design and procurement and expect to finalise financing in the next few months. It is also working on increasing local content and improving health and safety expertise.
Afternoon breakout sessions
Following the main afternoon session, the summit was split into four separate breakout sessions, each focused on different aspects of offshore wind development and featuring experts in those fields.
Breakout session 1: Localisation of the offshore supply chain
Moderator: Alastair Dutton, Chairman, Global Offshore Wind Task Force, GWEC
Session 1 focused on building offshore supply chains in Taiwan, covering a wide range of topics on the manufacturing of turbines and components, underwater construction and O&M investment.
Topic: How to build an offshore wind supply chain – the UK case
Speaker: Alastair Dutton, Chairman, Global Offshore Wind Task Force, GWEC
The speaker noted that the UK’s development needed supplies from other countries and reiterated points made by previous speakers that it is not possible to source 100% locally but that Taiwan has a real opportunity to become a regional hub given its first mover advantage in the region.
Germany offers a clear example of the job creation effects from the wind energy industry. The biggest kick happens about three years before installation with the hiring of engineers and support staff, such as lawyers, HR and marketing personnel. The UK’s experience is not perfect but offers good lessons in how to build a supply chain with different regions focusing on different aspects of the supply chain.
While the benefits in terms of generating energy and lowering carbon emissions are well known, wind energy also has a lower water footprint than other energy sources which is becoming an increasingly important issue given fresh water constraints in many countries. Wind uses less water than solar PV and 100 times less than nuclear energy.
Topic: Supply chain localisation challenges and opportunities
Speaker: Peter Gill, Procurement Manager, Northland Power
The speaker introduced his company’s projects, which will be developed together with local partners. He noted that North America and Europe have the advantage of experience from offshore oil and gas development, which has led to a lot of skilled people moving from oil and gas to offshore wind. Without this experience in Taiwan, it will be a challenge to find people with the requisite skills. Gill’s company is developing a local content plan focused on installation, foundations and vessels. However, he made the point that building a factory to make cable for just 1GW of capacity would not be economically viable, meaning that business models need to consider export opportunities. Taiwan will only succeed in selling products to other markets if the price is right. Besides products, there is potential for developing Taiwan as a services hub for the industry but this will require developing local talent in cooperation with universities and research institutes, such as CIER.
Topic: Establishment and current status of the wind turbine component supply chain
Speaker: Hsu Yuan-liang, Assistant General Manager, Wind Power Construction Department, China Steel Corporation
The speaker gave an overview of global wind energy trends and local development plans. He explained that China Steel plays the role of a developer, supplier of foundations and leader of the Wind Team to establish a local supply chain alliance.
According to Taiwan’s localisation timetable, 10 items must have local content in the first phase, 10 in phase 2 and seven in stage 3. Localisation requirements will start with towers and foundations in the first phase, move on to components such as transformers, switch gear, cable, fasteners, hub noses and covers in phase 2 and later blades, main frames, generator gear boxes and nacelle covers. Given that these products not only have to be manufactured but also certified and tested on site, it will be difficult to meet deadlines. The speaker reiterated the view of other speakers that local suppliers should be globally competitive.
Topic: CIP’s localisation operations – Enablers in Taiwan
Speaker: Maria Hsu Nai-wen, Chief Development Officer, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP)
CIP is one of world’s most experienced players with 16 offshore farms on 4 continents, the biggest of which is off the coast of Scotland and the largest using jacket foundations.
CIP has managed to get the financial support of 10 million pension holders in Europe and Asia through financing from insurance companies, investing in renewables. The speaker introduced her company’s two projects in Taiwan, the financing of which will be finalised in 2019. She acknowledged that it will be challenging to meet the timelines.
According to the speaker, CIP has highest local content among developers in Taiwan and is working hard to develop local expertise. In this regard it has established an apprenticeship programme for a local university with training in Denmark.
Topic: Challenges and opportunities of O&M in Taiwan
Speaker: Carl Rasmus Richardsen, Managing Director, Deutsche Windtechnik Taiwan
According to the speaker Deutsche Windtechnik services 4,000 turbines, substations, conducts R&D, runs a training centre and carries out inspections for quality, health and safety. The firm is able to take care of the maintenance of everything related to wind farms, including logistics, and will be responsible for all the maintenance of one of the Yunlin wind farms, except turbine services.
Localisation is a new issue, according to the speaker since it has never been a factor in Europe. However, for his company, the goal is not the issue since it always their intention to hire and train local staff. The problem will be in the initial stages since they will have start from scratch in Taiwan because there is a lack of qualified people locally. He said that some universities are willing to adapt their courses and he is optimistic that they will find the right talent. The ultimate aim is to have a local management team. In addition, the company hopes to purchase tools in Taiwan as well and spare parts and will hire Taiwanese-built and owned vessels, which are now under construction and to be launched in May 2020. Eventually they aim to have fully Taiwanese crews. Service work lasts for 20 years as opposed to projects which last just 1-2 years. Those trained will be in demand worldwide.
Topic: Opportunity and challenge of local underwater structures
Speaker: James Wu, Chairman Representative, Taishing Engineering and Construction
The speaker gave a history of his company, which makes piles for underwater foundations. He noted that his company faces the challenge of meeting timelines given welding capacity shortage.
Topic: Setting up the supply chain for blade production
Speaker: Nadine Weber, Senior Manager, Offshore Business Development, LM Wind Power
According to the speaker, 20% of the world’s turbines use the company’s blades. It has factories in all key wind markets, five in Europe and six in Asia. Given the difficulty of transporting large blades, it is better for manufacturing and assembly facilities to be in or near harbours.
The speaker made the point that when thinking about setting up factory, there needs to be a large enough pipeline, government commitment, and plenty of space for assembly and storage. Another factor often forgotten is labour. A blade factory needs 300-350 workers, which require 6-12 months to hire and train. It is not certain if Taiwan has the right pool of potential workers. If not, they would have to be hired overseas. If labour rates are high or there is an insufficient pool of labour, it does not make sense to set up a factory locally. All these factors would have to be taken into consideration before setting up a factory. Finally, she reiterated the point that it is not sufficient to be a supplier for the local market. Local manufacturing only makes sense if the local industry can become a global supplier.
Session 1 Q&A session
All speakers from the session took part in the Q&A session. On a question as to what is the best opportunity for the local industry in the supply chain, panellists said that repair, operations and maintenance is the best option because they provide jobs that lasts 20-25 years. Setting up blade manufacturing facilities would be a challenge at this stage because the pipeline is not sufficient. It would only work if there is also an export investment case. One of the speakers noted that Germany initially imported 90% of components for its wind farms but gradually increased locally capacity to the point where, today, most components are supplied locally.
On a question about vessels, panellists noted that there are seven types of vessels needed for offshore wind. Besides meeting capacity, local shipbuilders will also have to meet the highest standards for quality and safety.
On a question about local content requirements, the BOE and IDB are soon expected to make announcements on local supply chain content requirements beyond 2025. According to the IDB panellist, authorities will take into account volume and local capacity constraints, acknowledging that they cannot just focus on Taiwan and need to cooperate with original suppliers from Europe.
Breakout session 2: Grid integration and grid-related technologies, including digitalisation
Moderator: Liu Yuin-hong, System Planning Department Director, Taiwan Power Company
The session brought together companies and experts for informative presentations in the following areas: grid integration, digitalisation technologies and underwater cable O&M issues. The following is a list of topic presentations and speakers in the session:
Topic: Journey towards a digital grid
Speaker: Gary Ang, Senior Consultant, DNV GL - Energy
Topic: Offshore wind and beyond – Holistic approach and integrated solutions for sustainable energy future
Speaker: Erdal Elver, President & CEO, Siemens Taiwan
Topic: Integration of renewable energies into an island grid
Speaker: Dr Hannah König, Head of Maritime and Offshore Technology, EnBw Asia Pacific
Topic: Integrated solutions to integrate offshore wind into the grid
Speaker: Alfredo Parres, Global Senior Vice President, ABB
Topic: Move wind offshore connection from ambition to motion
Speaker: Lucas Stephane, Wind Business Developer, Schneider Electric
Topic: Evolution of cable burial technologies – Developments for Europe and Asia
Speaker: John McCann, Regional Manager, APAC, Soil Machine Dynamics (SMD) Singapore
Topic: Subsea cable protection and maintenance
Speaker: Angela Lock, General Manager, Asia Pacific, Tekmar Group
Breakout session 3: Offshore wind turbine technology and the optimisation of electricity output
Moderator: Monica Liu, General Manager - Engineering, Northland Power
Session 3 explored the latest turbine technologies, as well as different strategies to maximise electricity output, ranging from siting to O&M. The following is a list of topic presentations and speakers in the session:
Topic: Developments in wind turbine technology – Taiwan and typhoons
Speaker: Gary Sun, National Sales Director, MHI Vestas
Topic: Introducing the ACE Joint Industry Project – Alleviating cyclone and earthquake challenges for wind farms
Speaker: Marcus Klose, Head of Section, Steel Structures Hamburg, Renewables Certification, DNV GL - Energy
Topic: Building on proven technology for Asia Pacific Markets
Speaker: Niels Steenberg, Executive General Manager, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy
Breakout session 4: Standardisation, certification and training needs in offshore wind
Moderator: Per Enggaard Haahr, Asia Pacific Regional Manager for Renewables Certification, DNV GL - Energy
Session 4 was designed to investigate issues surrounding standards and certification, as well as the challenges for building the local capacities in Taiwan and the region, such as training and recruitment in the project development and O&M phases. The following is a list of topic presentations and speakers in the session:
Topic: Due diligence for wind farms
Speaker: Alex Zhu, Vice General Manager, TÜV Rheinland
Topic: Development goals for value-adding project certification in permitting, investment and stakeholder management
Speaker: Hajo Piltz, Head of Project Certification, Orsted
Topic: Standardisation, safety and technical training
Speaker: Alex Obell Nielsen, Global Sales Manager, Maersk Training (GWO Certified Training Provider)