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MOEA hits back after wind power investors pan proposed rate cut

2018/11/30 19:04:51

CNA file photo

Taipei, Nov. 30 (CNA) Economic officials have asked for evidence from investors in Taiwan's offshore wind power sector to justify their rejection of a proposed 12.71 percent cut in the 2019 feed-in tariff rate.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) released a proposal for the 2019 rate on Thursday in which the rate per kilowatt hour (kWh) will be reduced from NT$5.8 (US$0.189) to NT$5.1.

It was criticized by wind power developers in a joint statement on Friday as unacceptable, but Economic Affairs Minister Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) met with them and explained how the new rate was calculated.

A MOEA official told CNA that the MOEA had asked businesses to offer information on their power generation operations when the new rate was being assessed, but only two companies did so.

Shen said he again asked the companies at Friday's meeting to provide detailed evidence to back up their argument to keep the existing rate next year.

The minister emphasized that the proposed FIT rate for 2019 was not final and that the MOEA still needed to hold hearings to collect opinions and then go through a review by the FIT rate review committee.

"If they have an argument, then they should convince committee members of it," Shen said.

Companies including Yushan Energy, Northland Power, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and WPD Taiwan Energy Co. said in a joint statement Friday that the proposed new rate represented a sharp policy U-turn by Taiwan's government.

It said the MOEA attracted offshore wind power investment with a promise of a rate of NT$6 per kWh, and changing that would have a negative impact on Taiwan's reputation in the global market, making it harder for the island to develop related technologies.

The companies also were unhappy that the new FIT rate would only apply to the first 3,600 hours of power sold and that the rest could only be sold at a rate of NT$1.94 per kWh, which they said would undermine the platform for wind power developers.

(By Liao Yu-yang Chi Jo-yao)