Taiwan is one of the world’s most promising countries in terms of offshore wind energy. NIRAS has opened a new office to facilitate access to a multi billion USD market undergoing rapid development
Ambitious plans for climate adaption and attractive subsidy schemes make Taiwan one of the most interesting countries for investments in offshore wind farms. NIRAS was quick to gain a foothold in the growing market 5 years ago, and now NIRAS is stepping up its business with a permanent office in Taipei.
‘We have a strong network in Taiwan and great potential for developing the market through our new office,’ says Tore Lucht, Head of Offshore Wind at NIRAS, Marine and Geotechnical Engineering.
Towards 2025, Taiwan will build off shore wind farms generating 4 GW, corresponding to an investment of approx. USD 20 billion and more investments are in the pipeline. Until 2040, local and foreign developers are planning to expand offshore wind farms to a total of 11 GW. The farms will be established in 37 offshore areas in the Taiwan Strait between China and Taiwan.
‘Taiwan is really dedicated. We experience a great political drive towards renewable energy and a relatively open business climate welcoming involvement of knowledge from outside Taiwan,' Tore Lucht explains.
As a developer, you need to apply for environmental approval for a specific licence. With the approval comes the concession to develop the offshore wind farm, making a strong local presence vital.
The end of 2017 marks the deadline for obtaining environmental approval, at which point, the market will really start to gain momentum with the development of large offshore wind farms as we know them from Europe.
NIRAS’ primary role in Taiwan is to act as Owners Engineer, where NIRAS staff will help local businesses to develop projects for the offshore wind farms and optimize the supply chain and to help foreign developers gain a foothold in the country. For that reason, our new office will be manned by both local and European staff. NIRAS also design foundations including structural, geotechnical, hydraulic and electrical design and NIRAS has several contracts on design of foundations and supervision of the fabrication and construction of the first offshore wind farms in Taiwan.
Overall, Tore Lucht expects that the group’s revenue in Taiwan will reach a yearly turnover above 4 mio. USD before 2025 in Taiwan and that Taiwan will also serve as a stepping stone to the markets in Japan, South Korea and China.
NIRAS has had activities in Taiwan since 2012 and hired its first Taiwanese colleague in 2016 and for 2017 NIRAS will expand further with both European and Taiwanese offshore wind experts.