Only solar successful in first German joint tender

GERMANY: Germany's first joint technology tender has been branded a "failure" by industry associations after only solar projects secured all of the capacity.

Solar projects won contracts at values ranging from €39.60/MWh to €57.60/MWh (pic: BSW-Solar)
Solar projects won contracts at values ranging from €39.60/MWh to €57.60/MWh (pic: BSW-Solar)

Eighteen bids were made for wind power projects in the 200MW auction, but all of these were unsuccessful, the Federal Network Agency (BNA) said.

It held the joint tender, with wind competing against solar, to determine appropriate financial support requirements for technology-specific auctions, the agency had said when it announced the auction in February.

But following the release of the auction results, the heads of the Federal Solar Industry Association (BSW-Solar) and the German Wind Energy Association (BWE) described joint tenders as "unsuitable" for encouraging the build-out of the two technologies.

BSW-Solar and the BWE cited analysis by the German Weather Service (DWD), which showed a combination of the two technologies can stabilise the production of electricity from renewable energy.

"Pitting two most important pillars of our future energy system against each other is inefficient and not effective. Instead, we need an intelligent mix of the two technologies," said BWE president Herman Albers.

His counterpart at BSW-Solar, Carsten Körnig, said: "We are happy for the many solar winners, but consider the experiment a failure.

"The auction results prove the excellent price-performance ratio of new solar power plants, but not the suitability of joint tenders," Körnig added.

The average volume-weighted aggregate value of the 32 successful solar projects was €46.70/MWh — slightly more than the average price of €43.30/MWh in the last purely solar tender.

Contracts were awarded with values ranging from €39.60/MWh to €57.60/MWh, according to the BNA.

Wind power bids, meanwhile, had a volume-weighted average of €72.30/MWh.

The tender was nearly twice oversubscribed, with the BNA receiving bids totalling 395MW for just 200MW of available capacity.

President of the BNA, Jochen Homann, conceded: "A mix of different technologies is essential for the success of the energy revolution."

The next onshore wind energy auction is on 1 May 2018, while the next solar tender is scheduled for 1 June 2018.

Germany's Renewable Energy Act (EEG) requires two joint onshore wind and solar auctions per year between 2018 and 2021. This pilot phase will then be evaluated before the government decides whether to continue with the joint tenders beyond 2021.

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