Wind Energy Asia highlights localization, global expansion of Taiwan’s wind industry


Wind Energy Asia 2024 opens on March 6. (Photo: Lin Bo-yu)

The Wind Energy Asia returned for its sixth edition at the Kaohsiung Exhibition Center on March 6 to 8, bringing together professionals from the upstream, midstream, and downstream supply chain of the wind power industry.

A total of 75 exhibitors from 12 countries gathered to explore the areas of wind turbine manufacturing, wind farm maintenance, marine engineering, and peripheral services.

Yu Chen-wei (游振偉), director of the Energy Bureau of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, said that the development of renewable energy is a crucial path forward, and that wind and solar energy are two of Taiwan's main pillars, with comprehensive strategic planning in place. 

The round 3-1 offshore wind zonal development has signed contracts, while the round 3-2 will start auctioning this year, indicating that Taiwan is moving towards a robust wind power industry chain, he said.

Yu Chen-wei (游振偉), director of the Energy Bureau of the Ministry of Economic Affairs. (Photo: Lin Bo-yu)

The event featured a presentation by the Japanese company Weathernews on the use of satellite technology to provide weather forecasts, which not only reduces operational risks for wind power operators, but also helps reduce their carbon emissions.

Weathernews' sales representative Chou Li-ren (周立人) told Reccessary that the weather navigation system helps optimize routes, reducing fuel consumption. 

In addition, they have developed a platform that allows shipping companies to calculate fuel consumption and conduct fuel efficiency assessments by selecting vessel types, entering voyage operation modes, and then applying the meteorological and route databases. 

The platform serves both wind power-related and shipping companies, such as their main customer Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation.

Chou found that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Taiwan do not prioritize carbon reduction as urgently. In contrast, Weathernews is ahead of the curve, not only by establishing a carbon reduction department but also by requiring employees to record their monthly electricity consumption.

Jufan Industrial, a major manufacturer of hydraulic and pneumatic automation components, has become an important player in the localization of Taiwan's wind power industry as its pitch system has been favored by Siemens Gamesa.

Jufan’s new factory has already installed solar panels to reduce carbon emissions. However, it appears that some companies have not yet felt the pressure, said Hu Cheng-jie (胡正杰), Jufan’s general manager.

He added that some fastener manufacturers have made it clear that it is more economical to pay the NT$50-60 million annual carbon tax than to reduce carbon emissions themselves.

For the Southeast Asian market, Jufan will focus on the automotive industry, he said, adding that their Thai plant is expected to be completed and commissioned by the end of this year.

They plan to enter the Thai market through repairs, utilizing their experience of collaboration with China Steel.

Greenfiltec, which entered the wind power industry only last year, introduced new noise-reducing rubber made of sound-absorbing composite materials that are eco-friendlier and more durable than traditional underwater bubble curtains, as well as EasyQote® anti-corrosion tape, making its debut in Taiwan.

Clean energy development is a trend in Taiwan, said Chiang Huei-ling (江慧玲), assistant to the general manager of Greenfiltec, adding that driven by the localization of wind power, the company's executives decided to invest in an entirely new field.

Greenfiltec specializes in Airborne Molecular Contamination (AMC) prevention and control, primarily for the semiconductor industry. They manage gas molecules in cleanrooms to reduce equipment and consumables replacement and improve wafer yield.

According to Chiang, TSMC is their major customer, and with TSMC establishing a plant in Kumamoto, Japan, Greenfiltec is also expanding into the Japanese market.

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