Taiwan comes to Scotland for offshore renewables inspiration

The Energy @ Taiwan stand at All Energy
The Energy @ Taiwan stand at All Energy

Similarities between the UK and Taiwan might be few and far between but the Asian island is looking to Scotland for renewable energy inspiration.

And it’s geography as well as British advancements in the field that brought one of the largest delegations 6,000 miles from the other side of the planet.

As well as seeing both the UK and Scottish government making moves towards lower carbon economies it’s quite a simple attraction – both nations are surrounded by water.

So that is why around 40 delegates jetted into Scotland this week to attend the All Energy conference in Glasgow.

It was there that they made their intentions clear – to use Scottish academia, business links and the supply chain to bridge the gaps in their own market.

The Taiwanese government has set targets of achieving 500megawatts of renewable energy by 2020.

The target increases to three gigawatts in 2025, with a longer term goal of 20% of energy demands coming from renewable sources.

With this in mind, they are now on the clock as to how quickly they can advance their megawattage.

Da-Jeng Yao – who goes by the name Jeffrey – is Taiwan’s National Energy Program Phase Two oversight committee executive secretary.

He was part of the delgation at the UK largest renewables conference this week.

He said: “The UK has successful wind farms all round this island. We want to learn from that.

“So far we only have two 4MW windmills [Siemens’ Formosa 1 offshore wind farm]- so we need a lot of help for a rapid expansion.

“We have the Taiwan strait between China and Taiwan. That would be a very good place to put turbines.

“We have the capacity material but we do not have the building or testing experience.

“So we need more collaboration between companies and academic so we can solve some of these important problems.”

But with political uncertainty in the air over Brexit talks – it may not be a United Kingdom that provides the final inspiration.

But for Yao it makes little difference – EU member or not.

He said: “Brexit makes no difference to us. It doesn’t matter.

“We will want to continue trading.”