Netherlands to fund offshore wind energy talent program in Taiwan

03/02/2020 08:28 PM
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Guy Wittich (center), head of the Netherlands Trade and Investment Office in Taiwan
Guy Wittich (center), head of the Netherlands Trade and Investment Office in Taiwan

Taipei, March 2 (CNA) The Netherlands Trade and Investment Office in Taiwan (NTIO), which represents Dutch interests in the country in the absence of formal diplomatic relations, said Monday it will fund a program to cultivate local talent for Taiwan's offshore wind energy development.

At a news conference, Guy Wittich, head of the NTIO, said based on the good relationship between the Netherlands and Taiwan, the Dutch government approved a talent cultivation program at the end of 2019.

Under the program, Wittich said, the Dutch government will fully fund the training of trainers in Taiwan by the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), the Wind Energy Institute at the Delft University of Technology, and Water Research Institute Deltares.

Wittich said with Taiwan's first offshore wind farm becoming operational last year, renewable energy development in the country has entered a new stage.

Efforts to cultivate talent have become critical to the offshore wind energy industry in Taiwan, the NTIO said, which is why it has teamed up with National Taiwan University (NTU) and the Metal Industries Research & Development Centre (MIRDC) to carry out the program.

The NTIO said National Cheng Kung University and National Sun Yat-sen University are also likely to take part.

According to the NTIO, more than 10 Dutch companies, most of them in the marine engineering industry, have invested in Taiwan and these investors, recognizing the lack of local talent, suggested the Dutch government should set up a talent cultivation program locally.

In the first stage, the program will cultivate 20 trainers, the office said.

The office did not disclose the size of the funding the Dutch government will provide.

In response to the program, Weng Su-chen (翁素真), chief secretary of the Bureau of Energy under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), said the MOEA is planning to set up an offshore wind energy training center in Kaohsiung at the end of this year and she hopes trainers from the Dutch talent cultivation program will join the training center, which aims to cultivate about 500 trainees in the initial phase.

According to a recent survey conducted by the NTU Energy Research Center, Taiwan will need about 20,000 offshore energy development professionals by 2025. The center said under the program NTU and the MIRDC will focus on mid-range white-collar management experts.

(By Pan Yi-ching and Frances Huang)

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