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Green Globe: Ørsted pauses projects in Taiwan after government delays permit

Q2: U.S. Solar and Wind Power by the Numbers

Essential Energy Insights - September 17, 2020

Essential Energy Insights September 2020

Rate case activity slips, COVID-19 proceedings remain at the forefront in August


Green Globe: Ørsted pauses projects in Taiwan after government delays permit

Ørsted A/S said it has paused all development activity on two offshore wind projects in Taiwan after the government failed to issue a key permit and subsidy before a deadline to sign a power purchase agreement with a local utility.

Under Taiwanese law, the Denmark-based developer and Taipower had until Jan. 2 to sign a PPA for 900 MW of output from Ørsted's Changhua 1 and 2a offshore projects. Because the Taiwanese government did not issue an establishment permit for the projects, Ørsted and Taipower must cancel the proposed PPA and review the projects' timelines and various contracts.

In addition, the Taiwanese government has not yet officially decided on the feed-in tariff for offshore wind for 2019. It has suggested a feed-in tariff of about €145/MWh and production cap of 3,600 annual full-load hours — neither of which have satisfied Ørsted executives.

"We're very concerned about the suggested feed-in-tariff level for 2019 as well as the newly proposed cap on annual full-load hours," Martin Neubert, the CEO of Ørsted's offshore wind segment, said in a Jan. 2 statement. "We will need to see significant changes to these proposals before we can progress any further towards a final investment decision on the projects."

The government selected Ørsted's two Changhua projects in April 2018 as part of a 3,800-MW tender. In June 2018, Ørsted was chosen to build another 920 MW of offshore wind projects in the Changhua region.

Taiwan Ministry of Economic Affairs has set a goal to procure 5,500 MW of offshore wind by 2025. The country installed its first offshore wind facility, an 8-MW demonstration project from local developer Swancor Renewables, in 2017.

India's state-run solar energy agency has launched a tender for up to 7,500 MW of solar power projects and additional transmission and infrastructure across the country's northern tip.

According to a Dec. 31, 2018, request for proposals from Solar Energy Corporation of India, or SECI, the tender is the first phase of the government's plan to build up to 23,000 MW of grid-connected solar photovoltaic projects near the cities of Leh and Kargilm, in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir state. Some 5,000 MW of that capacity will be constructed around Leh, while the rest will be built near Kargil.

SECI said it will execute 35-year PPAs with the winning bidders and project developers will have up to four and a half years to fully commission the solar projects, including building transmission lines. Local utilities will buy output from the solar projects.

The solar push is part of India's broader efforts to ramp up renewable energy capacity to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 2022 target of 175,000 MW of clean energy capacity. While government officials have been insistent that the country can achieve Modi's ambitious goal, analysts have raised concerns that lagging infrastructure, safeguard duties and delayed auctions could hinder India's renewables push.

Omega Geração S.A., one of Brazil's largest renewable energy firms, has acquired a 303 MW wind energy facility for 1.9 billion Brazilian reais.

In a Dec. 31, 2018, press release, Omega said it has acquired the Assuruá Wind Complex, which consists of 13 wind farms in Brazil's Bahia state, from investment fund FIP IEER. In addition, the parties have signed a contract that grants Omega the option to acquire up to 2,000 MW of solar and wind projects being developed in the region. The deal means that Omega will have more than 1,000 MW of operating wind capacity once two of its wind complexes come online in early 2019.

Omega acquired a 220.8-MW wind complex in December 2017 and a 50% interest in the 321-MW Pirapora solar energy complex in August 2018.

"[These deals] consolidate us as a relevant platform for investments in renewable generation in Brazil," Omega CEO Antonio Augusto Torres de Bastos Filho said in a press release. "Our commitment to the sustainable development of Brazil through the expansion of renewable sources is irrevocable."

Elsewhere

* Iberdrola SA has wrapped up its £702 million sale of its United Kingdom gas and hydro power plants to Drax Group PLC.

* Tariffs and trade disputes are dampening the picture for emerging economies as attractive clean energy markets, according to market researcher BloombergNEF.

* China and Taiwan lead the Asia-Pacific region's wind power sector, but the pieces are starting to fall into place for other countries such as Japan and South Korea to take on a bigger role in Asia's clean energy transition.

* Wind energy farms in Germany generated almost 15 TWh of electricity in December, Renews reported.

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As of Jan. 2, US$1 was equivalent to 3.81 Brazilian reais.