Germany

Germany

German onshore tender undersubscribed again

Prices fell slightly in Germany's most recent tender for onshore wind, but the auction was again undersubscribed, reflecting permitting backlogs and industry caution, the country's wind energy association claimed.

Contracts were awarded for 67 projects with a combined capacity of 476MW (pic credit: STEAG)
Contracts were awarded for 67 projects with a combined capacity of 476MW (pic credit: STEAG)

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Germany’s federal energy regulator, the Bundesnetzagentur (BNA), awarded contracts to 67 projects with a combined capacity of 476MW — 113MW more than the volume awarded in October 2018.

Just under 500MW of bids were put forward for the 700MW available, the BNA stated.

Successful bid prices ranged from €52.40/MWh to €62/MWh, with a weighted average of €61.10/MWh.

This average was down 2.3% from Germany's onshore wind tender in October - which was also undersubscribed - while the range of successful bids narrowed.

However, industry organisations including the German Wind Energy Association (BWE) and WindEurope criticised lengthy permitting processes that resulted in the tender being undersubscribed.

WindEurope noted that permitting processes were getting longer – from 10 months two years ago, to now more than two years.

Meanwhile, the BWE noted that there were 1,840MW of projects registered with the BNA prior to the auction, but only 499MW was put forward.

Its president Hermann Albers said: "Calls for tenders no longer make sufficient contributions to ensure the expansion of the service provider of the Energiewende in a planned and systematic manner. 

"A significant boost in area designation and approval practice is required. Only then can the available volume be increased significantly."

Geographic spread

Most of the successful bids were for projects in Lower Saxony (19) and Brandenburg (18), followed by North Rhine-Westphalia (nine).

But permitting delays appeared to hinder some states more than others.

The BWE’s managing director Wolfram Axthelm had previously pointed out that very few permits had been issued in Bavaria, Saxony-Anhalt, the Saarland and Schleswig-Holstein. In these states, two, five, two and three projects, respectively, were successful in the tender.

"In order to meet the growing demand of the modern energy industry, all federal states have to participate in the expansion," he had said in January.

WindEurope's CEO Giles Dickson added that the failure to identify potential onshore wind sites and subsequently undersubscribed auctions would jeopardise Germany's target of 65% renewables in electricity by 2030.

Solar

A separate tender for 175MW of solar PV capacity was held at the same time and was oversubscribed.

Bids were entered for 465MW of capacity — more than two-and-a-half times over the available volume.

Successful bids ranged between €41.10/MWh and €51.80/MWh, with a weighted average of €48/MWh.

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