They call him “the strongest grandpa on the face of the planet.” Vice Premier Shen Rong-chin certainly became a familiar figure for the offshore wind industry. As the Tsai administration’s point man on the matter, the buck usually stopped with him. For the industry, Shen was a blessing and a curse. An old-school bureaucrat who rose through the ranks in a non-partisan way up through the Industrial Development Bureau and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Shen was doggedly pro-localization and fond of telling off European executives in his office like they’re errant schoolboys. On the other hand, he had political clout and there’s been many times when a nascent industry like offshore wind was glad of a “Tiger government official” on its side, championing its cause. 

Who will replace Shen? The straightest possible line is to answer the question “who will replace him as Vice Premier?” In that case we have the answer: It is the chubby and politically-favored (by Tsai) former mayor of Taoyuan, Chen Wen-tsan. This is assuming that offshore wind will remain in the purview of the Vice Premier. But it would seem to make a lot of sense. 

For the rest of this article, which will be for subscribers only, I will give a character sketch of Chen and his career thus far, scrutinize his past remarks on offshore wind and also bring up some of the other characters who might rise in prominence as Grandpa Shen vacate his big shoes. Finally, since we might not get to talk about him for much more, I will end with some truly bonkers Vice Premier Shen anecdotes as related to me by industry insiders.