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Europe’s Policy Framework for Promoting Offshore Wind Energy: Lessons for Taiwan and Other Countries

Anton Ming-Zhi Gao


As a result of the recent proliferation of onshore renewable energy (RE) infrastructure in many developed countries around the world, related environmental and public concerns have arisen. Consequently, to facilitate further growth in RE, especially after the Fukushima accident of 2011, these and other countries are considering options for developing RE infrastructure offshore, or in less controversial spaces. Offshore wind farms (OWFs), for example, present a viable option for their energy policy. Europe, in particular, has emerged in recent years as a pioneer in facilitating large-scale deployments of OWFs.
Taiwan has expended much effort in the development of offshore wind technology since the 2000s. In 2006, a formal policy to develop OWFs in Taiwan was announced as the first phase of offshore wind energy production, although progress from that point has not yet occurred. After the Fukushima accident, the government of Taiwan launched additional measures to realise the country’s ‘first’ OWF, creating the Office of Thousand Wind Turbines Promotion and a Demonstration Incentive Programme, and promulgating a Demonstration Subsidy Ordinance. Several demonstration projects are scheduled to be funded under this scheme, yet whether these efforts will result in Taiwan’s first OWF still remains to be seen.
The purpose of this article is to draw lessons from the European experience to evaluate Taiwan’s approach in promoting OWFs, and identify the possible challenges and potential solutions. Ideally, such an analysis would also benefit other late-comers to the development of OWFs in strengthening their RE policy framework.

Assistant Professor at The Institute of Law for Science and Technology (ILST), National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan This article is funded by the National Science Council, Taiwan, Project Number 103-2410-H-007 -016 -MY2; 103-3113-P-007 -006 –.

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