Germany's third onshore auction launched

GERMANY: A third and final German auction round of 2017 has been launched to source up to 1GW of capacity, but future auction rounds face a rule change to combat the dominance of citizen projects.

Citizen wind projects have dominated the two German auctions this year (pic: UKA Group)

The latest auction is due to close on 2 November. It follows rounds of 800MW and 1GW, which closed in May and August respectively.

A maximum bid of €70/MWh has been set, with the lowest bids winning allocations until the 1GW volume is reached.

August's auction saw an overriding success of citizens' projects, which can bid with unpermitted wind projects.

They also have up to four-and-a-half years to commission sites, as opposed to 30 months, and are awarded the highest winning auction bid, rather than their actual bid price.

The German government has reacted with a revision of citizens' wind projects privileges for the first two auctions in 2018.

Under the revised rules, citizens' wind projects will only be allowed to participate with projects that have a permit and, if successful, must commission it within 30 months.

But the new rules also lift size restrictions of a maximum of six turbines or a total capcity of 18MW on citizens' projects entering auctions.

Successful citizens' projects will continue to enjoy allocation of the highest successful bid.

In the transition to the auction system, projects permitted under the pre-auction system before the end of 2016 must be installed before the end of 2018.

From 2019, only projects successful at auction can be installed. If citizens' projects wait as long as possible before project implementation to reap the benefits of future technological advances — up to four-and-a-half years — business in 2019 -2021 could be sparse.