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President Tsai attends inauguration of Formosa 1 offshore wind farm
President Tsai attends inauguration of Formosa 1 offshore wind farm

While attending the inauguration ceremony of the Formosa 1 offshore wind farm on the morning of November 12 in Miaoli County, President Tsai Ing-wen praised wind farm for beginning commercial operations, which shows that from planning to completion, Taiwan is a wind power pioneer in Asia. In the future, she said, we have to achieve our green energy goals, and then set even higher goals so that domestic and overseas firms are confident about making long-term investments in Taiwan. The president also stated that we will accelerate implementation of a smart grid, become a link in the international green energy supply chain, market Taiwan products worldwide, and make Taiwan Asia's green energy development center.

Upon arrival, President Tsai received a briefing from Matthias Bausenwein, Formosa 1 Chairman and President of Ørsted Asia-Pacific, and watched an image video on Formosa 1.

A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:

Over three years ago, if I told everyone that we would see the completion of Taiwan's first offshore wind farm, and that construction of the second and third wind farms was already underway, and that we would be well on our way to becoming a green energy nation, I am sure many people would have found that hard to imagine. But as the facts show, we did it.

Most people with foresight have supported Taiwan's move toward green energy and progress. But there was also a small minority of naysayers who resisted. They said we were too hasty, and that it couldn't be done.

Ten years ago, when Taiwan wanted to build a high-speed rail system, some people had reservations. But political bickering and conservative attitudes have never stopped and cannot stop Taiwan's progress. As long as we remain committed to moving forward, we will see results.

Today, we have seen the completion of the Formosa 1 demonstration wind farm. There have been all kind of difficulties since this project was launched in 2013. But finally, the project has been completed, thanks to interagency cooperation from the Executive Yuan team, and the assistance of many of my government colleagues, including the Miaoli County Government.

If you ask me why the project is being executed by the same departments, and the feed-in tariff is just about the same, but we succeeded where our predecessors failed, I can tell you: the key to success lies in the government's determination. Because we have clear policies and are determined, domestic and overseas firms have confidence in Taiwan, and are willing to work with our government. The commercial operation of this wind farm will show that from planning to completion, Taiwan is a wind power pioneer in Asia. So wind power developers in Japan and Korea now want to learn from Taiwan's success model.

After Formosa 1 formally begins commercial operations at the end of this month, it will supply enough power for 128,000 households each year. That's over 60% of all the households in Miaoli County. That means Taiwan's green energy firms will be able to develop in the domestic market, and then use the expertise they have developed to pursue business opportunities around the world.

The goal of our government's efforts to transform the domestic energy sector is to have renewable energy account for 20% of total power generation by the year 2025. That will include 20 gigawatts of solar power, and 5.7 gigawatts of offshore wind power.

But other Asian countries are now proposing more aggressive green energy goals, so Taiwan cannot afford to give away green energy business opportunities, technologies, and jobs to other countries. As the energy industry is being transformed around the world, we must seize these opportunities and play the role of an industry leader. That is the only way we can continue to make headway against fierce international competition.

In the past, we laid a strong foundation that made Taiwan an Asian pioneer in green energy development. Now, we have to take the next step and make Taiwan Asia's green energy development center. In concrete terms, that means we need to do three things:

First, we have to achieve our green energy goals, and then set even higher goals so that domestic and overseas firms are confident about making long-term investments in Taiwan.

To start, we need to dedicate our efforts to achieving our policy goal, and generate 20% of total energy output using green energy by 2025. This is not a task for just one government agency. It is an overall goal for the entire nation. In the future, we want high-level supervision from the Executive Yuan to guide solar and wind power progress, call together government agencies to assess all difficulties and resolve them one at a time.

Although Taiwan is still the first mover in the green energy race, other Asian countries are in hot pursuit. So our green energy development planning can't stop at the year 2025. I want to ask Economic Affairs Minister Shen Jong-Chin (沈榮津) to formulate a "regional development" policy for offshore wind power as soon as possible and propose a new goal for the next 10-year stage from 2026 to 2035, adding 10 gigawatts during that 10-year period, and establishing a lifecycle for sustainable development of offshore wind power in Taiwan. We want to attract more foreign vendors to set up Asia-Pacific operations centers in Taiwan, but we also want to make firms in the domestic supply chain more comfortable about investing.

Second, accelerate implementation of a smart grid as the central nervous system supporting green energy development while enhancing power quality.

Industrial progress depends on infrastructure progress. We want to use IoT, AI, and 5G technical applications to speed up smart grid development and upgrade Taiwan's overall power generation system. That will not only increase Taipower's operating efficiency, but will also enhance the quality of power delivered to users. By 2025, we also want the annual production value of the relevant industries to reach NT$43 billion.

Third, we want to become a link in the international green energy supply chain and market Taiwan products worldwide.

After using the domestic market to develop expertise and using international capital while cooperating with experienced developers and system integrators, we can look to Asia and set our sights on global markets, form national teams, and become part of international green energy supply chains. The government will also use its finance and R&D support systems to help domestic vendors make money from green energy industries in the global market.

In closing, I hope the Formosa 1 team will successfully complete Taiwan's first offshore wind farm smoothly. I also want to thank Miaoli County Government for their support. We look forward to the day when an offshore wind farm in Miaoli begins commercial operations, and when that happens, we can celebrate together. I want to ask our economics experts, Minister Shen, Minister without Portfolio Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫), and all of our partners on the administrative team to continue their efforts. Let's continue on the correct path to transform Taiwan's energy sector and upgrade industry, and let's step up the pace!

President Tsai and the other distinguished guests then jointly inaugurated the Formosa 1. Also present at the ceremony were Executive Yuan Minister without Portfolio Kung Ming-hsin, Economic Affairs Minister Shen Jong-Chin, Miaoli County Deputy Magistrate Deng Gui-ju (鄧桂菊), Legislator Chen Chao-ming (陳超明), Ørsted Wind Power CEO Martin Neubert, Japan's JERA Company President Satoshi Onoda, Global Head of Green Investment Energy at Australia's Macquarie Capital Mark Dooley, and Taiwan's Swancor Holding Company General Manager Chan Ming-jen (詹明仁).

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