Auctions to drive growth in eastern Europe

EUROPE: The shift to auction schemes in eastern Europe, Russia and the Caspian could result in 16GW of new onshore wind capacity over the next ten years, according to a new report.

Poland is expected to announce plans for a 1GW tender (pic credit: Invenergy)

Tenders being completed in Russia and Kazakhstan, and proposed auction systems in Poland and Ukraine are due to drive this growth, analysts at Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables (WMPR) stated.

These changes mirror the global trend of markets moving away from feed-in tariffs (FITs) in favour of auction regimes, the analysts added.

Overall, the region will experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9% between 2018 and 2027, according to WMPR’s Eastern Europe Onshore Wind Market Outlook 2018.

Sohaib Malik, the report’s author, added that "significant" coal decommissioning was expected in Hungary, Poland and Romania after 2020 due to ageing fleets and stricter regulations on emissions. And as the cost of wind power continues to fall, it will be well placed to replace the decommissioned coal capacity.

The analysts also expect new, smaller markets to emerge in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Slovakia, they added.

However, regulatory uncertainty poses a risk to this positive forecast, WMPR stated.

Governments should streamline permitting and grid integration regulations to ensure that wind power capacity awarded in auctions is actually commissioned, the analysts added.

In Russia, just over 1.8GW has been tendered so far, while Kazakhstan has awarded contracts for 500MW this year.

Ukraine’s government is designing a bill to provide state support for wind power auctions, while its Polish counterpart is expected to announce plans for a 1GW onshore tender.