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Updated July 20, 2022

Onshore wind targets 

Taiwan’s first wind farm that achieved commercial operation is located in Mailiao township of Yunlin. Comprising four 660-kW turbines of Vestas, the project was constructed by Formosa Heavy Industries in 2000, setting a milestone for onshore wind energy development in Taiwan. The wind farm was subsidized by the Incentive Fee for Demonstration Wind Turbines. Henceforth, wind farms were built across Taiwan, including Kinmen and Penghu islands. 

The Executive Yuan launched the Four-year Wind Power Promotion Plan in 2017, aiming to achieve 814 MW of cumulative installed capacity by 2020, and 1.2 GW by 2025. However, Taiwan has only managed to achieve 725.7 MW in 2020, 88.3 MW shy of the original target, and it has only installed 825 MW for the time being. This means Taiwan has only added 100 MW of capacity within the recent one and half year and is not likely to attain the 916 MW target set for 2022. 
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As of early 2021, existing installed capacity plus 242.76 MW of capacity with planning permit and 150.7 MW with building permit amount to 1,140.2 MW of total capacity, only 59.8 MW away from the 2025 target. However, half of the wind farms with planning permit fail to acquire building permit, and 40% have yet to complete construction two years after receiving construction permit. Unlike the prospering offshore wind industry, onshore wind energy seems to be in a state of inertia, with developers showing scant interest, despite short supply for onshore wind power. Meantime, existing onshore wind farms yield little progress. 
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Updates on Taiwan’s onshore wind energy

Presently, Taipower and the private sector respectively account for 297 MW and 528 MW, namely 36% and 64%, of grid-connected installed capacity. InfraVest is the developer of most wind farms of the private sector, with a portfolio of 390.2 MW. However, the company has sold most of its equity and management right to wpd in 2016.  

Having been constructing farms in Taiwan since 2000, InfraVest is the most well-experienced private developer in Taiwan. InfraVest is more advantaged, for Taipower is legally bound to announce the location of designated sites, allowing landowners to jack up prices, pushing up cost of acquiring land for Taipower.
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Taipower wind farms distribute widely across nine counties, cities, and islands of Kinmen and Penghu. Most of these wind farms are smaller in scale. Changhua is home to 103.4 MW, the greatest amount, of installed capacity, among which 71.2 MW come from Taipower’s biggest wind farm in Changhua Coastal Industrial Park. 

Eight wind farms developed by InfraVest have been in commercial operation. They are concentrated in Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Miaoli, Taichung, and Changhua. These wind farms are relatively larger in scale. Most of InfraVest’s installed capacity is in Miaoli, while the biggest wind farm is at the Changhua Coastal Industrial Park, which has 96.6 MW of installed capacity.
Amounts of windfarms of Taipower and InfraVest

Built in early 2000, some of Taipower’s wind farms deploy smaller turbines that have only 600-900 kW of capacity. For instance, Taipower’s first onshore wind farm, Chuton Wind Farm in Penghu, uses ENERCON’s 600-kW turbines. Most of the wind turbines of Taipower have a rated capacity of 2 MW, with 96 of which provided by Vistas, Zephyros, ENERCON, and Siemens Gamesa. InfraVest, on the other hand, has 25 2-MW wind turbines and 148 2.3-MW wind turbines, all provided by ENERCO.

Presently, Taipower has 52 wind turbines with capacity lower than 2 MW. It is advisable for Taipower to conduct financial assessment and consider using novel turbines. By replacing these wind turbines with 4.2-MW ones, Taipower can add 159 MW of installed capacity. With higher capacity factor, new turbines will be a strong support for Taiwan to reach energy targets and achieve energy transition.

Losing momentum

Onshore wind energy development hit bottlenecks in Taiwan. Existing wind farms and those in pipeline together amass a cumulative installed capacity that is still 60 MW away from the 2025 target. To add to that, over 60% of scheduled wind farms have yet to enter the next stage. 

Given strenuous stakeholder negotiations, developers are not willing to participate and complete wind farms. Doubled with market saturation and the lack of financial incentives, strong demand, short supply in the onshore wind energy sector intensifies.

Stakeholder negotiation: Protests against onshore wind farms are common occurrences. Changhua Coastal Industrial Zone, Yuanli township of Miaoli, and Sihu township of Yunlin have all seen protests taking place. Taiwan has a high population density. There are always towns or communities near onshore wind turbines. However, shadow flicker and noises emitted by wind turbines are inevitable and compensations can hardly make up for the impacts wind farms have on residents. Developers cannot afford greater amount of compensation, given limited profits from onshore wind energy. If the two parties reach no agreement, developers may dispose wind farms or play waiting games.
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Market saturation and lack of financial incentives: The FIT rate for onshore wind energy has decreased from NT$ 2.88/kWh in 2017 to NT$ 2.09/kWh for the time being (for wind farms with at least 30 kw of capacity and no low voltage ride-through (LVRT) turbines). Developers may sign corporate power purchase agreements (CPPA) with other businesses, but the anchoring effect of FIT rate put developers at a disadvantage. That, and varying amounts of compensation put off developers. Taiwan is small, but densely populated. After twenty years of development, the saturation of good onshore wind farm sites is a natural outcome. Meanwhile, other farm sites will see financial risks escalating due to lower-than-expected capacity factor.

As the onshore wind energy industry is toiled with stakeholder management and difficulties in price negotiation, developers are more willing to invest in the solar industry. Despite requirement for more lands, project site saturation, and change of land category of farmland, solar energy enjoys NT$ 4/kWh of FIT rate, providing some bargain chips for developers, affects the landscape but poses no more impacts on residents, and thus has less uncertainties in stakeholder negotiations.


Onshore wind energy is a vital source of renewables in Taiwan. In 2017, the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection allocated 1.4 million RECs, among which, 75.7% of clean energy come from onshore wind. Therefore, pushing onshore wind energy development forward is the key to energy transition in Taiwan.

Besides mediating communications between developers and stakeholders, the government should consider slowing down the decrease of FIT rate to maintain financial incentives, providing subsidies for technical improvements or substituting older models of wind turbines with new ones that have larger capacity to accelerate onshore wind development in Taiwan. Developers may try mitigating resistance by creating mutual financial interests with residents through the community-invested cooperative. Developers are advised to attend FIT rate meetings, stating actual developing costs, to keep FIT rate from declining too fast and affecting CPPA prices.