Tung Tzu-hsien, Chairman of Pegatron, recently commented that the priority is no longer nuclear-free, but carbon-free, and urges the government to reactivate First and Second Nuclear Power Plants, allowing nuclear power to occupy 15-18% of power generation, which not only reduces carbon emission but also lowers electricity prices. Wang Mei-hua, Minister of Economic Affairs, pointed out on the 15th that the main issue for First and Second Nuclear Power Plants is the irretrievable fuel rods within the reactor core, and corresponding uses of nuclear energy will require cooperation with local governments.
Nuclear power plants generally have a lifespan of 40-60 years. Wang Mei-hua pointed out that the First Nuclear Power Plant had arrived at the EOL in 2019, and the storage facility, despite having completed in construction more than a decade ago, has yet to be approved by the New Taipei City Government, which is why the fuel rods are still stuck within the power plant. Second Nuclear Power Plant is also confined by the irretrievable fuel rods and trailing construction of the storage facility, even though it’s still within its lifespan. This project has been under an on-going lawsuit with the New Taipei City Government for more than a decade, and is currently at the review phase. As long as there are no storage facilities, fuel rods will remain within the reactor core.
Wang attended the celebration on the final investment decision for the second phase of the southwest section and the northwest section of the Greater Changhua Offshore Wind Farms today, and commented that suppliers and cross-divisions are currently overcoming many challenges from the pandemic and learning curves in the past, with results starting to be seen. Four wind farms are expected to be completed today, and would accumulate 2GW of offshore wind power capacity then.
Wang also commented recently that Taiwan saw 330 million kWh of offshore wind power generation from Q1 in 2022, and has now achieved a YoY growth of roughly 1.4 times to 810 million kWh.
Wang pointed out that Orsted’s final investment decision on the northwest and the second phase of southwest of the Greater Changhua Offshore Wind Farms symbolizes its confidence in offshore wind power investment. Although there are often various issues during the development phase of new industries and new energy, similar problems are also seen from other countries, and that Taiwan aims to resolve these hindrances through communication and coordination, allowing developers to see the determination of the government, which then incentivizes investment from suppliers.
With that being said, it is not always a smooth sailing in the development of offshore wind power as seen from the unapproved financing of the Hai Long Offshore Wind Farm, as well as how OWF Yunlin and Formosa 2 have been confirmed to be penalized due to postponed construction. Wang pointed out that these are the methodical solutions provided by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, where some could also serve as the foundation for future solutions that will overcome similar issues then. Different issues during different stages are also receiving on-going improvement.
(Cover photo source: TechNews)