SRE is Building a Legacy of Sustainability for the Next Generation

Taiwan’s aspirations to become an island powered by green energy heavily depend on the efforts of wind power developers. And although the bustling industry now consists of many local and international firms, the first company to accelerate the island’s wind power transformation was Swancor Renewable Energy (SRE), a leading offshore wind developer.

SRE has been at the forefront of Taiwan’s offshore wind market for more than a decade. When building Taiwan’s first-ever offshore wind project, the company acknowledged the importance of responsibly incorporating environmental and social considerations into the project’s management. It therefore committed to implementing the Equator Principles, a risk management framework adopted by financial institutions to assess and manage environmental and social risk in lending decisions.

“Offshore wind is very capital-intensive and requires equity support and financial support from the banking industry,” says SRE chief executive officer Anna Su. “We collaborate with financial institutions that comply with the Equator Principles. This means we are raising the bar for green financing in Taiwan, which we are proud of and will continue doing.”

Su adds that SRE hopes to invite more international banks and domestic and state-owned financial institutions to initiate offshore wind project financing as part of their ESG efforts. “Taiwan’s wind power pipeline will only grow, and we want to extend the positive collaborations we have built with international and local financial institutions to also include state-owned banks investing in the island’s future.”

After taking part in two major offshore wind projects in Taiwan, SRE in 2019 initiated the planning and development of two large-scale projects, Formosa 4 and 5, both located in Miaoli County. The new wind farms, notes Su, are strategically located to conserve the natural habitat of endangered species and protect artificial reef areas. SRE also maintains continuous communication with the local community and stakeholders.

“We’ve already accumulated over 10 years of experience building offshore wind in Miaoli County,” she says. “We’re very happy to have built up solid relationships and trust with local stakeholders in the area, especially the fishermen’s association.”

SRE has dedicated itself to environmental education by engaging in campus activities and holding forums and seminars on offshore wind power and renewable energy. To get children acquainted with the scientific aspects of offshore wind power and related socio-cultural issues, SRE last year cooperated with Ecus Publishing to create Taiwan’s first-ever illustrated popular science book about offshore wind power. The company donated copies to all 119 elementary schools in Miaoli County to be used as teaching material.

“The students in Miaoli can physically see the wind turbines, and we want them to understand the technology behind the constructions and take pride in the fact that Taiwan is building green energy,” says Su. The next step is to extend the book program to include most schools and public libraries across Taiwan.

Early education is also a way to pique more people’s interest in the industry. Finding offshore wind staff is a challenge as the technology is still new, and the company competes for talent with other projects around the world, not just in Taiwan.

SRE therefore aims to cultivate a robust talent pool in Taiwan through continuous training and strategic recruitment. The company was recently invited by Cheers Magazine to participate in its “TALENT, in Taiwan” campaign, where it joined 100 other companies in advocating workforce and workplace sustainability for local talent. SRE was the only offshore wind developer in Taiwan nominated to participate in the campaign.

This long-term vision is what permeates SRE’s work, where each endeavor is another step toward creating a sustainable environment for future generations, notes Su. As an example, she says that for every 500-megawatt project, the company reduces Taiwan’s carbon emissions by 0.39%. By itself, the number might seem small, but SRE’s real impact is the result of a convergence of efforts.

“We will continue to dedicate ourselves to offshore wind and other renewable energy options to realize our vision of being a leader in renewable energy across Asia,” she says. “Our market-leading position enables us to continue developing and constructing new offshore wind and renewables projects, helping Taiwan achieve its energy transition goals by 2050 and bringing about an energy revolution for the next generation.”