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Highly Efficient EIA Review Process for Offshore Wind Power Reaches a Milestone in Green Energy

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In accordance with Taiwan’s renewable energy goals, the EPA handled 22 EIA reviews for offshore wind power, with 19 cases completing the preliminary review within six months. The EPA explained that the capacity of installations, which already passed the preliminary review, is up to 10.07 GW. This is a significant increase from cases processed in 2016, which were 0.61 GW. This adjustment is in line with Taiwan’s 2025 renewable energy goals and the government’s objective to have “selections for 3 GW and bids for 2.5 GW” from offshore wind power. These advancements will allow Taiwan to reach a major milestone in green energy.

Despite the fact that Taiwan’s renewable energy development trails that of western European countries, the government has taken steps to actively promote renewable energy. In order to reach Taiwan’s 2025 energy goals, the EPA first completed its Policy Assessment for Offshore Wind Power Development on 28 December 2016. It also set up consultations and investigated the most prevalent environmental issues for offshore wind power development and possible response measures. This information will aid plans for development as well as provide a reference and benchmark for the follow-up EIA reviews. As the 19 cases continue through the review process, the review committee will determine how environmental policies and consultations align with practical application. The EPA will enumerate the specific demands derived from the most common environmental issues.

Civic group concerns about the conservation of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin are an example of a frequent issue arising during the EIA process. Thus, the EIA review placed a strong emphasis on determining and restricting the direct impacts of construction and piling. The EPA set standards for distances that should be restricted to development and will carefully monitor construction during the pile-driving period. The EPA also set regulations on restricted distances, noise monitoring during pile driving, the application of soft starters and noisereducing engineering, and restricted the time for pile driving. In addition, during initial investigations, the EPA recommended that the noise threshold comply with German standards (StUK4, 2013). The sound exposure level (SEL) value for noise 750 meters below water in watch areas must not exceed 160dB. In areas where mothers and juveniles of whales and dolphins are discovered, the threshold values will be further restricted.

Ministry of Environment