The 16th Annual Conference of the European International Studies Association (EISA) was held at the University of Potsdam from September 5-9, 2023. The TAP project contributed with a presentation by Dr. Josie- Marie Perkuhn in the Blue Turn section, in the panel The 'Materiality' of Maritime Discourse: Objects, State Actors, and Politics on Friday morning. Entitled "" How Much Does Taiwan's Maritime Materiality Matter in Innovative Energy Transition?", she presented initial insights from her research visit on the integration of the sea into the energy transition.
The innovative Taiwan has emerged as a pioneering actor. While around the world new technology industries rely on high energy demand, Taiwan seeks not only to reduce its consumption by efficiency, but also aims for a greener energy mix to ensure sustainable energy supply. Under the current administration, installing new nuclear power plants is politically unthinkable, the burning up of fossil fuels is highly unwelcomed. Domestic resources remain limited, so the ocean becomes a viable option. As a matter of fact, the discourse changed accounting for Taiwan’s ocean-driven materiality among agents who support energy transition. Geographically, Taiwan is an island and supposedly the Taiwan-Straits are well-suited for offshore wind farming. However, when it comes to the ocean as resource, how much does Taiwan’s maritime materiality matter in an innovative energy transition? This research approach contributes to the relationship between the ocean-driven materiality and discourse of the very same in the field of energy transition. With an empirical research design this contribution targets the intersection of discourse and materiality by focusing on offshore windfarms. In this long-term endeavors, national and international parties of many governmental and non-governmental actors have to partake. How is this maritime materiality woven into the measures taken and how does Taiwan accommodate international norms and/or attract investors to foster the building of offshore windfarms under the circumstance of Taiwan’s insecure status regarding cross-strait situation. This contribution explores involved players, interlinked projects and innovative prospects in the process of energy transition regarding the maritime materiality in Taiwan’s offshore wind farming