GWEC: Taiwan has a unique opportunity to be a leader in offshore wind and benefit from the investment boom in competitive clean power technology.

 

However, it must avoid the proposed move to alter Feed-in-Tariffs (FiT) in order to protect planned investments and the economic benefits that will result from these.

  • GWEC releases new data showing impact of retrospective changes to Feed-in-Tariffs (FiT) in other markets and the costly consequences that could face Taiwan
  • The offshore wind industry could bring some NT$880bn of inward investment into Taiwan by 2025 and create some 20,000 jobs
  • Proposed reduction in FiT of 12.7% and unexpected changes to FiT structure put offshore wind target of 5.5GW at risk and undermine investment climate for Taiwan’s economy
  • Taiwan needs to build critical mass in offshore wind and create local supply chain in order to achieve European price levels
  • Government must seek consensus on changes to FiT levels and rethink damaging and unexpected changes to contract structures in order to avoid companies cancelling their planned investments

Brussels, 17 January 2019

The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) has called on the government of Taiwan to rethink proposed changes to the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) for offshore wind projects to avoid the costly lessons made by other markets that pursued a similar approach.

GWEC has released new data (see GWEC’s information pack attached to this press release for full analysis and appendix below for highlights) with supporting examples from the French and German offshore markets that shows the impact of changes similar to those currently being considered by Taiwan. For example, in France, a retrospective reduction to the FiT of 30% contributed to a stalling of projects that had been contracted through auctions and a current installed capacity of just 2MW. None of the production and assembly hubs that were planned have been inaugurated and job-creation expectations have not been met.

Ben Backwell, CEO of GWEC, said, “Taiwan has done an extraordinary job of establishing one of the world’s most exciting new offshore wind markets in a very short period of time. The competitive prices achieved in European tenders in recent years, where it is now lower than gas and nuclear, have sparked global interest in the industry, and Taiwan is well placed to benefit from that. We are on the cusp of something very exciting happening in Taiwan – bringing an influx of foreign investment, local job creation and the creation of clean competitive power generation capacity. However, Taiwan must stick to its plans and allow the industry to establish itself, or there is real risk of developers and investors exiting the market.”

He adds: “Despite recent developments, it’s not too late. There is still time to choose a way forward based on consensus and informed by the experience of other markets in the past so that Taiwan can avoid making the same errors and instead reap the benefit of a booming offshore wind industry.”

The proposed changes to FiTs are of two types. Firstly, a much steeper than expected reduction of 12.7% in tariffs which will sharply reduce project revenues.

And secondly, two unexpected structural changes; a limit of 3600 annual full load hours; and removal of the so-called “ladder tariff”. The cap on load hours constitutes, in GWEC’s view, a perverse disincentive for the efficient growth of Taiwan’s industry, as developers will not be rewarded for using the most efficient turbine models. And the removal of the ladder tariff closes off an effective way of helping developers attract project finance at the most competitive possible costs.

Taken together, the proposed changes could reduce project revenues by approximately 20% and so make the projects non-investable, thwarting growth in the sector.

GWEC is committed to facilitating dialogue between the government and the wind industry and providing research and evidence, in order to help all parties to find a solution that allows planned investment to go forward and maximise the benefit for the Taiwan’s economy and society.

The offshore wind target of 5.5GW by 2025 will bring some NT$880bn inward investment. Numerous agreements have been signed with Taiwanese supply chain companies and it is estimated 20,000 local jobs will be created.

Taiwan is an early focus for GWEC’s Global Offshore Wind Task Force since it is a crucial element of the emerging Asian market. GWEC brings unique insight on establishing wind markets, drawing on many years of experience around the world and adapting industry development to local circumstances.

Appendix

The offshore experience in other markets – learnings for successful offshore development in Taiwan:

France (retrospective changes to FiT):

  • In 2012, the French government launched a tender for 2 GW of offshore wind, and another for 1 GW in 2014, with associated investments expected of about €11 billion and expected job creation at assembly hubs of 13,000.
  • When the majority of hurdles (fishing rights, protected areas and court cases) for the development of the first French offshore projects were cleared, the government then came back and wanted to lower the awarded support levels by some 30%.
  • The result has been that no projects have proceeded, no jobs were created, and no offshore capacity has been installed.
  • A new tender scheduled for June 2018 has been delayed indefinitely.

Germany (the ‘Ladder tariff’):

  • As in other markets operating a feed-in tariff, Taiwan’s framework included the option of a so-called ‘ladder tariff’, where the developer has the option of taking a higher feed in tariff for the first years of the project, and a much lower one later.
  • The advantages of this system are: one, an earlier repayment of debt, lowering overall financing costs; and two, higher revenues earlier on in the project when investments in infrastructure, the local supply train and training are at their highest.
  • The example of Germany is probably the most comparable, and the two schemes are laid out in a supporting graph within the information pack.
  • In Germany, in the initial phase of the offshore market, 90% of developers chose the accelerated model, largely for the reasons stated above which added flexibility and better financing options for developers.

Europe (comparing full-load hours)

  • Another proposed change to the FIT regime is that a cap of 3600 full-load hours for which a project can receive the feed-in tariff.
  • While projects in Europe generally run at around 3800 full-load hours, this includes many projects built 5-10 years ago with smaller, less efficient machines. Full-load hours estimated for the Taiwan market are closer to 4000 hours a year, as a result of plans to use the latest, largest and most efficient turbines on the market.
  • This cap will act as a perverse incentive, i.e., developers will not be interested in using the state-of-the-art machines, and this will be reflected in the quality and sophistication of the local supply chain developed around it.

 

About GWEC

GWEC is a member-based organisation that represents the entire wind sector. The members of GWEC represent over 1,500 companies, organizations and institutions in more than 80 countries, including manufacturers, developers, component suppliers, research institutes, national and regional wind and renewables associations, electricity providers, finance and insurance companies.

GWEC and the ECCT will host the Global Offshore Wind Summit – Taiwan on 24-25 April. The event will bring together high-level representatives of government, local and international investors and the wind industry in Taipei.

 

Press contacts

Olivia Thornton

H+K Strategies

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

T: +44 207 413 3711

Alyssa Pek

GWEC

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

T: +32 490568139

 

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The way we power everyday life in the U.S. is changing. Electric vehicles (EVs) are exploding in popularity. Home heating is becoming electrified. Even New York City is adding electric buses to its fleet. But how do we make sure the nation’s infrastructure keeps pace with these changes? And how do we ensure these new electrified products are powered by clean energy from sources like wind?

To help answer these questions, AWEA just released a new report, “A Shared Future: Electrification and Renewable Energy featuring Example State Legislation to support Electrification Strategies.” This resource for electricity providers, state legislators, regulators, and other stakeholders will help inform them as they develop electrification strategies. The report also offers insights to help states advance critical infrastructure investments and develop comprehensive strategies that include EV charging infrastructure investment, renewable energy additions, and transmission expansion.

Wind pairs well with electrification

This report is coming at just the right time, as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) estimates that electrification could boost electricity load growth up to 38 percent nationwide by 2050.

Consumer-driven adoption of EVs and other forms of transportation electrification will account for the largest increases in electricity demand, both in the near-term and through 2050. While support grows for an increasingly electrified future, there is similar support for renewable energy expansion as EV drivers prefer to use renewable energy to charge their vehicles.

Wind energy in particular is ideally suited to meet the new demand spurred by electrification. Onshore wind generation tends to be strongest at night, exactly when EV drivers most often charge their vehicles. There is also a seasonal correlation, as wind generation tends to be strongest in the winter in most parts of the country. That pairs well with wind, because residential and industrial electrification are expected to grow and shift peak electricity demand to the winter in the coming decades, particularly in the Midwest and Northeast. That means wind is well-positioned to help meet the burden of this shifting demand.

Guidance for creating an electrified system

Importantly, AWEA’s new report includes sample legislation for states considering new bills or updates to existing laws to meet the needs of an electrified world. This sample legislation was drafted with the intention of allowing each state to tailor the legislation according to its own needs and circumstances, especially where conflicting provisions already exist.

Essentially, the sample legislation directs state Public Utility Commissions (PUC) to approve an electricity provider’s electrification program if it is found to be in the long-term public interest and provides consumer benefits, with all related costs “prudently incurred and recovered in a just and reasonable manner.” Programs should include grid readiness measures, stakeholder engagement, consumer education, deployment of charging infrastructure, and environmental impact considerations. As a resource, the sample legislation also provides a menu of incentive options that states can establish to grow access to new technologies.

Some electricity providers have already jumped on the electrification bandwagon. Austin Energy, Georgia Power, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, and Xcel Energy are recognized in the report for their forward-thinking electrification programs, which include components like time-of-use rates, charging infrastructure incentives, renewable energy procurement, and rebate packages for home electrification.

General Motors (GM) and Siemens were also highlighted as companies on the front lines of electrification. GM has set a goal of launching at least 20 new all-electric models by 2023 and is the only U.S. automotive company committed to 100 percent renewable energy. Siemens has developed a tool to estimate the infrastructure requirements and potential impacts of electric transportation in cities over the next 30 years. The innovation driven by these utilities and corporate leaders will help states achieve their electrification goals and meet consumer expectations. We look forward to seeing others do the same.

You can find our full report here as well as a fact sheet here.

January 24, 2019

About BluEarth

BluEarth is a private company focused upon commercial-scale renewable energy development and operations. As an independent renewable power producer, our goal is to build, own, and operate sustainable wind, water, and solar generation projects. At BluEarth, we are developing and operating a portfolio of energy projects that optimizes people, planet, and profits. We bring together extraordinary people with the power to change the future.

Our Core Values

  • Be Passionate. We have an inner fire to do great work and leave the world a better place
  • Be Agile. We keep pace with the now and next and adapting to change runs through our veins
  • Be Proud. We go the extra mile because we are proud of our business and a job well done
  • Be Humble. We believe putting our ego aside and working together builds community and forges strong relationships
  • Be Persistent. We never give up and thrive on challenges that would unnerve others

Position Title:                     Site Lead, Wind Technician
Location:                              East Central Alberta
Position Closes:                 February 22, 2019

Overview

Reporting to the Site Supervisor, Bull Creek Wind Facility, the Site Lead, Wind Technician is accountable for the safe and efficient operation and maintenance of the Bull Creek Wind Facility in East Central Alberta.

Accountabilities and Duties

  • Responsible for leading the work of other wind technicians;
  • Assist with on-site implementation of health and safety policies, practices and programs designed to motivate employees to reduce or eliminate occupational accidents, injuries and other hazards related to company’s operations;
  • Perform scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, troubleshooting and repairs of wind turbine subassemblies and related components;
  • Perform status updates, including clearing error codes on wind turbines and repairing issues;
  • Change and / or replace mechanical components in a designated area or wind field;
  • Service blade and hub components as required;
  • Inspect and facilitate maintenance of collector electrical equipment, communication systems, access roads, gates and other site infrastructure;
  • Assist with completing reports and documents related to plant and equipment performance, and following-up with suppliers and service providers when required;
  • Maintain respectful and harmonious working relationships with all external stakeholders on behalf of BluEarth;
  • Providing operational support to sites across Canada including covering wind or solar technicians during absences, as required;
  • Develop a culture of team work, pride and ownership at the Bull Creek Wind Facility; and
  • Other duties as required.

Education

  • Wind Turbine Technician certificate, technical diploma or trade certificate in mechanical or electrical;
  • Other equivalent combinations of directly related post-secondary education and directly related experience may be considered.

Experience and Skills

  • Minimum four years of wind power experience;
  • Experience working around high, medium, and low voltage equipment;
  • Demonstrated competency in a leadership role;
  • Strong technical knowledge of wind facility operations and turbines, including functionality, design and components;
  • Experience with electrical and hydraulic schematics;
  • Experience with industry standard SCADA systems and software;
  • Excellent troubleshooting skills for both electrical and mechanical systems;
  • Experience with testing and troubleshooting equipment such as multimeters, voltage testers, etc.;
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written;
  • Excellent organizational skills with an ability to prioritize and reschedule priorities as needed; and
  • Experience with Microsoft Office product such as Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

Core Characteristics

  • Highly flexible and able to quickly adapt to changing priorities;
  • Possess an action-oriented approach with a strong work ethic and high integrity;
  • Able to understand and evaluate technical issues in relation to the overall business;
  • Able to exercise independent judgement and discretion, as well as act in a professional manner when representing the company; and
  • Committed to excellence in personal and professional conduct and performance.

Job Requirements

  • Valid class 5 driver’s license;
  • Ability to travel within Canada and internationally;
  • Ability to lift up to 50 lbs.;
  • Physically capable of working in various plant and field conditions, including working at heights more than 300 feet, and working in variable and adverse weather conditions, if safe to do so;
  • Ability to work a varying schedule including early mornings, late evenings, weekends and holidays, in addition to being on-call.

Additional Information

  • Relocation assistance available for qualified candidates.

To Apply

To apply for this position, please send you resume to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with “Site Lead Wind Technician” in the subject line.

Please note:  only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

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There’s a new Congress in town, and that means there are a lot of members who haven’t heard the wind story yet. Now it’s our job to educate them, and we need your help.

No one can help us tell this story better than the men and women working in American wind power every day. We need your help explaining how affordable and reliable wind is; how wind energy creates jobs and is a powerful rural economic development tool; and how wind makes the air cleaner, building a better tomorrow for future generations.

On March 5-6, AWEA will hold Wind Power on Capitol Hill, the year’s biggest opportunity to visit Washington, D.C. and meet your representatives in the House and Senate.

During this two-day event you’ll be able to:

  • Participate in an advocacy boot camp, where you’ll learn from the pros the most effective techniques for conducting meetings on the Hill;
  • Put that training to work in face-to-face meetings with your elected officials and their staffs, and build long-lasting relationships with your elected officials;
  • Understand how federal and state policies affect the future of U.S. wind development;
  • Network with your colleagues in the industry and congressional staff at a reception on Capitol Hill, and become empowered to make this event the springboard for your continued advocacy efforts.

Are you ready to join us?

Coming to Washington and telling your story can play a critical role in making sure we continue adding chapters to wind power’s American success story.

Please join us, and please consider inviting members of your supply chain, leaseholders, community members, and your family – we need their voices, too!

Register today!

For questions about Wind Power on Capitol Hill 2019, please contact Jenna Marinstein.