As pointed out by the report of the National Audit Office, the target for Taiwan’s accumulated quantity of offshore wind turbines in 2021 fell below expectation by a significant margin, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) responded that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on offshore wind power is regarded as a global phenomenon, where the entry and exit of related personnel, movement of vessels, as well as the manufacturing and transportation of materials, have been considerably affected. The MOEA is now drafting supporting measures with the Command Center, and is expecting to accumulate more than 200 wind turbines by the end of the year.
Bureau Energy of MOEA explained that the report of World Forum Offshore Wind (WFO) indicates how the COVID-19 pandemic has cut off the entry of exclusive vessels, machinery, and personnel into various offshore wind farms that are under construction since 2020, where the measures implemented by each country in the hope of preventing spread of virus, including strict quarantine systems, duration, and prohibition of foreign travelers, have almost resulted in a standstill for global offshore wind power engineering, which is evidently not exclusive to Taiwan.
In order to lower the pandemic’s impact on the establishment of offshore wind power, Energy Bureau is coordinating with the Command Center’s request by stipulating offshore wind power pandemic-prevention programs, including 1.0, 2.0, 2.2, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, and 3.3, as well as gradually mitigating the corresponding measures in accordance with the changes of the pandemic status, such as facilitating operators in accelerating wind farm construction, allowing approximately 3K foreign personnel to enter Taiwan, rotate onshore days off for low-risk personnel, offshore replacement of personnel for low-risk vessels, as well as permitting those who receive a negative rapid test result on the fourth day after three days of quarantine to work offshore. Border controls are mitigated under the priority of pandemic prevention to lower the effect on construction.
The Energy Bureau further explained that there are four wind farms that are under active construction this year, including the Greater Changhua, Changfang Phase 1, Formosa II, and Yunneng. More than 200 wind turbines are expected to accumulate in establishment at the end of this year, providing additional renewable energy for Taiwan.
The Energy Bureau is humble to have been friendly reminded by the National Audit Office. The MOEA will exert maximum effort in providing assistance related to pandemic-prevention operations and infrastructures in the hope of widening renewable energy promotion that will attain the 2050 target of offshore wind power capacity, ensure stable power supply, lower air pollution and carbon emission, and achieve energy transformation.
(Cover photo source: Flickr/Kim Hansen CC BY-SA 2.0)