The Taipei Times reports that leading wind-power firm Vestas Wind Systems A/S of Denmark opened a subsidiary company in Taiwan on Thursday, saying the nation was an "ideal place" to develop the alternative energy source. The Taipei Times quotes Thorbjorn Rasmussen, president of Vestas Asia Pacific, as saying, "Taiwan relies on imports for its energy needs, has environmental concerns and has a shallow seashore on its west coast, so it is an ideal place to develop wind power." The article claims that Vestas hopes to install 2,000 megawatts in wind-power projects by 2010.
Rasmussen's comment is alarming. The shallow seashore on the west coast is prime humpback dolphin habitat. Noise and disturbance associated with construction was one of the five major threats identified by the international team of experts at the 2007 International Workshop on the Taiwan Humpback Dolphins.
How Vestas views the plight of the unique Taiwan humpback dolphins remains to be seen. One thing is sure and that is that the development of windfarms on the west coast is going to have a very negative impact on the small and struggling population of Taiwan humpback dolphins.
The impact of wind farm construction on the Humpback Dolphins
Vestas opens Taiwan office to expand presence
European Vestas opens Taiwan office
Nation tilts toward using wind power