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Taiwan looks to pick up pace on wind power development: Cabinet

2018/03/22 18:12:04

CNA file photo

Taipei, March 22 (CNA) The Cabinet reaffirmed a pledge on Thursday to increase offshore wind power capacity to 5.5 gigawatts (GW) by 2025 -- 57% higher than the previous target of 3.5 GW, unveiled in August 2017 -- to address fluctuations in energy demand as Taiwan becomes a nuclear-free country.

Installing offshore wind farms with a capacity of 5.5 GB by 2025 will increasing the amount of renewable energy, secure energy supply and further develop the wind energy manufacturing industry and supply chain, Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德) said at a Cabinet meeting.

The announcement was made a day after the second reactor at No. 2 nuclear power plant in New Taipei was restarted and a week after the plan to reactivate the retired Shen'ao coal-fired power plant in the city passed an environmental impact difference review.

Those two decisions have raised serious questions as to whether the government will be able to decommission nuclear power by 2025 as it has promised without severely disrupting supply and increasing carbon emissions.

The increase in the offshore wind power target to 5.5 GW by 2025 was decided in early January when the Cabinet approved an amendment to the Renewable Energy Development Act. Lai became premier in September 2017.

The amendment stated that the goal was for renewable energy to provide 20% of total supply by 2025 -- with 20 GW of solar energy, 5.5 GW of offshore wind power and the rest generated by hydropower and biomass power.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs will select projects generating 0.5 GW of power to be commissioned by 2020, 3 GW of projects to become operational from 2021-2025 and 2 GW of projects will be decided by auction, Deputy Economics Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) said at press conference after the meeting.

The selection and auction will be completed by April and June this year, respectively, he said.

(By Shih Hsiu-chuan)
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