With support from the Bureau of Energy under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and the British Office in Taipei, ITRI and the UK’s Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (ORE Catapult) on July 6 signed the Memorandum of Understanding on the cooperation of offshore wind generation. This paves the way for an innovation program focusing on offshore wind operation and maintenance technology that is based on the related experience of the UK, which has the highest installed offshore wind power capacity in the world. Technical exchanges will strengthen R&D capacities, while contributing to the improvement of Taiwan’s offshore wind generation ecosystem.
According to the energy industry research organization Wood Mackenzie, the global offshore wind generation operation and maintenance market will reach US$13.9 billion in 2028, with Taiwan’s market valued at US$1.07 billion. In addition to the joint creation of an Innovation Programme, the memorandum will enable the establishment of a joint working group to focus on wind turbines, submarine cable equipment, and power facilities. It will also introduce innovative AI and big data technologies to promote offshore wind generation operation and maintenance to become more automated, digitalized, and smart, consequently reducing energy costs. It is hoped that the introduction of related technology will help establish the vibrant development of this industry.
“UK-Taiwan cooperation in offshore wind is growing fast with 30 UK businesses now set up in Taiwan to support the sector,” said John Dennis, Representative of the British Office in Taipei, “It’s fantastic to see our partnership develop further with this MOU, which will include UK-Taiwan R&D collaboration and spur new innovations in the sector, increasing renewable capacity in Taiwan and helping to reduce carbon emissions.”
Cheng-Wei Yu, Director General of the Bureau of Energy, remarked that promoting offshore wind power is an important direction of development for Taiwan. “The government is committed to such policies to encourage related academic research and technology R&D, with the hope of achieving the energy transition to renewables and becoming a hub for offshore wind generation in Asia,” he said, “The UK has accumulated considerable experience in offshore wind generation and has successfully developed an offshore wind generation industry, he pointed out, adding that he is pleased to see ITRI and the UK’s ORE Catapult engage in cooperation, and looks forward to this cooperation yielding abundant results.”
ITRI President Edwin Liu commented that economic development among countries throughout the world is leading to an increase in global demand for energy. Taiwan is actively developing renewable energy sources, hoping to increase its energy independence. He visited ORE Catapult in 2019, and since then the two sides have engaged in cooperation. Taiwan’s wind farms will gradually see completion, and Dr. Liu hopes to incorporate more recommendations and experiences from those with an international perspective. In particular, ORE Catapult has extensive experience and state-of-the-art research in the development of offshore wind generation. The Taiwan Strait has potential to become one of the best wind farms in the world, and he sees cooperation with ORE Catapult as extremely promising. “This will foster more comprehensive development of the wind generation industry locally and will create a win-win opportunity for the industries of both Taiwan and the UK.” he said.
“Taiwan’s first offshore wind farm began commercial operation in 2019, and several wind farms will continue to be completed in the future. After the wind farm is completed and connected to the grid, it will enter the operation and maintenance (O&M) period of at least 15 years, therefore O&M technology is a key research area for ITRI,” said Dr. Ming-Shan Jeng, Deputy General Director of ITRI Green Energy and Environment Research Laboratories, “We have been engaged in international cooperation for the past two years. With the UK’s profound experience in offshore wind development, we are glad to cooperate with ORE Catapult and hope to accelerate research and development through offshore wind technology exchange and information integration.”
Dr. Stephen Wyatt, ORE Catapult Research and Disruptive Innovation Director observed, “Taiwan is one of the most innovative, progressive and fastest-growing markets for offshore wind technologies in the world. And as the largest offshore wind market in the world, the UK has a wealth of technologies, experience and know-how that can be shared with one of our largest global trading partners, helping us to expand global clean energy generation, reduce carbon emissions and tackle climate change.”
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