Siemens Gamesa is in talks with developers in South Korea, and first offshore wind installations off the peninsula’s coast could be built by the industry within the next three to five years, the OEM’s senior vice president for offshore strategy and regional development, Kasper Yttesen, told Recharge.

“We are in dialogues with different developers in Korea. So we are actively monitoring the market,” Yttesen said during the WindEurope Offshore 2019 event.

“We have the same situation as with Taiwan. Korea is similar in its needs of energy, and has a very high dependency on gas and nuclear. Both want to be independent on that.”

South Korea has earlier said it aims to develop 13GW of offshore wind capacity off its coast by 2030 to drive toward a target of having at least 30% renewable energy in its national mix by 2040.

Unfortunately off Korea, winds are not as strong as for example in the Taiwan Strait, where they can reach 9.5 to 10 metres per second – similar to wind speeds in the North Sea in Europe – Yttesen said.

“Wind speeds are around 6-7 m/s off Korea,” he said. “And you also have some soil conditions that are not that suited for fixed foundations. That creates some challenges.”

To compensate for the more difficult conditions, South Korea offers future operators of wind at sea higher feed-in tariffs than those granted by Taiwan, he added, without going into detail.

“That is also needed to have a business case that flies.”

Siemens Gamesa is already active in Taiwan, where it already has more than 2GW in turbine orders.

The OEM also sees Japan as one of the coming markets for wind at sea, where Yttesen said first projects may be awarded in about a year’s time.

“We expect a tender coming up early next year. And then, I guess it takes six to eight months for the processing of that. Maybe, within a year’s time, it would be fantastic to see the first big commercial projects being awarded in Japan.”

Japan’s upcoming offshore wind tender could be “in the magnitude of” 500MW and 1GW, he said.