Why joint tenders aren't working: German wind urges rethink

No wind developers submitted bids to compete against their solar PV counterparts in Germany’s fifth technology-neutral clean energy tender, prompting the head of the German wind energy association (BWE) to call again to scrap the joint auctions.

No wind developers have been successful in Germany's five onshore wind-solar PV tenders (pic credit: STEAG)
No wind developers have been successful in Germany's five onshore wind-solar PV tenders (pic credit: STEAG)

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In total, the German federal energy regulator, the Bundesnetzagentur (BNA), awarded 30 contracts for solar PV projects with a combined capacity of 203.7MW in the auction. 

“History shows that joint tenders as an instrument have failed," said Wolfram Axthelm, CEO of the BWE.

“Although they are successful with regard to the pure electricity generation costs for the absolute cheapest technology, they neglect the effects on the overall system. Important energy-related questions are ignored.

“Therefore, the experiment of joint tendering should be ended," he added.

The weighted average of successful bids decreased to €53.30/MWh from €54/MWh in the previous joint-technology tender in November 2019.

Contracts were awarded with values ranging from €49.70/MWh to €56.10/MWh - compared to €48.80-57.40/MWh six months ago.

By comparison, in the most recent wind-only tender for which results are available, successful bid prices ranged between €57.60/MWh and €62/MWh, with a weighted average of €61.80/MWh.

The next technology-specific onshore wind and solar tenders will be held on 1 June, with 900MW available for each energy source.

Solar PV projects have now secured all the capacity in each of Germany’s five joint onshore wind and solar auctions.

One wind developer bid in the second onshore wind-solar PV tender in November 2018 but was unsuccessful. No wind developers entered the other four tenders.

Successful developers and projects in the latest technology-neutral tender have not been published online. 

Normally, the publication would start the timeline to project deadlines. But the BNA opted not to do this to give developers more time during the coronavirus pandemic, the agency explained.

It will announce winners “after the situation has calmed down”, the BNA added.

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