Confidence has been hit by the lack of a guarantee that the mostly unpermitted projects will be built, together with the fact that the capacity from any projects that fall through cannot be brought back for re-auction.
Furthermore, auction rules favouring citizen projects by allowing them to participate with unpermitted projects opened the door to speculative bidding, according to some critics.
The longer implementation times for citizen projects, as well as the risk of them not getting a permit, could result in a sharp dip in installations in 2019/2020, the German wind energy association BWE warned.
At the first auction, 65 out of 70 winners were citizen projects, totalling 776MW, or 96% of the total winning capacity of 807MW. Only four of the successful citizen projects had permits in place.
The unhealthy similar nature of players winning in the first round and the tight definition of citizens' projects in auction rules – for instance, not allowing energy cooperatives – have also been criticised by the association.
The alarm bells have been heard, however, and a first corrective step taken.
An amendment requiring citizen projects to hold permits before entering auctions on 1 February and 1 May 2018 was passed by parliament on 29 June.