Germany

Germany

Lacklustre permitting induces latest undersubscribed tender

Prices inched up as the total capacity of successful projects declined in Germany's latest, undersubscribed wind power tender.

Germany's latest onshore wind tender had a subscription rate of just 55% (pic: BWE)
Germany's latest onshore wind tender had a subscription rate of just 55% (pic: BWE)

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Germany’s federal energy regulator, the Bundesnetzagentur (BNA), said difficulties in permitting at state-level influenced the outcome of the tender.

It awarded contracts for 35 wind farms with a combined capacity of 270MW — 43% below the 473MW awarded in February.

The BNA received 41 bids for 295MW — just 55% of the 650MW advertised — but excluded six projects with a combined capacity of 25MW due to a "lack of participation rights", it stated.

Successful bid prices ranged between €54/MWh and €62/MWh, with a weighted average of €61.30/MWh.

This average price was up 0.3% on Germany’s most recent wind power auction in February — which was also undersubscribed — while the range of bid prices narrowed.

Most of the successful bids were for projects in North Rhine-Westphalia (ten), Lower Saxony (seven), Brandenburg and Thuringia (five each), and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (two).

Bavaria (one) was the only southern state to have a successful bid.

Two of the successful projects are being developed by community groups, the BNA stated.

Permitting woes

The German Wind Energy Association’s (BWE’s) managing director Wolfram Axthelm previously pointed out that very few permits had been issued for projects in several states, including Schleswig-Holstein (where three projects were successful in the tender), Saxony-Anhalt (two), Bavaria (one), and the Saarland (none).

And WindEurope’s CEO Giles Dickson last week warned that the growth of onshore wind in Germany is collapsing, jeopardising the country’s target of 65% renewables in electricity by 2030.

The industry organisation argued lengthy permitting processes remained the underlying problem. Permitting used to take ten months, but now can take more than two years, it claimed.

Dickson called for "urgent action" to speed up the permitting process: "It’s got much slower, more complex, and there aren’t enough civil servants to process the applications."

Germany’s next onshore wind tender will be held on 1 August.

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