Developers stay away from German onshore wind tender

Germany’s last onshore wind tender of 2020 was oversubscribed. But 2021’s first auction saw the return of a familiar trend

German onshore wind tenders have repeatedly been undersubscribed (pic credit: BWE)
German onshore wind tenders have repeatedly been undersubscribed (pic credit: BWE)

Germany’s first onshore wind tender of the year was undersubscribed, while the average successful bid price rose slightly, the country’s energy regulator has announced. The Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA) has also stated that no wind developers bid into a separate tender for hybrid projects in April.

In the tender that closed on 1 February, the BNetzA awarded contracts for 89 onshore wind farms, of 691MW combined capacity. It had made 1,500MW available. 

Successful bids were in the €51.50-60/MWh range. The BNetzA stated that the volume weighted average was €60/MWh. It is unclear how this has been calculated, or whether this figure has been rounded up.

In the December onshore-wind only tender, the range was €55.90-60.70/MWh and the weighted average was €59.10/MWh.

Many of the successful bids in February were for projects in Schleswig-Holstein (20 awards, 173MW) North Rhine-Westphalia (20 awards, 116MW) and Brandenburg (18 awards, 165MW).

The regulator has previously acknowledged that state-level permitting difficulties across Germany were deterring bidders from participating in tenders.

Germany approved a series of climate measures in October 2019, including those aimed at accelerating permitting. In June 2020, the government also agreed to give states the final say on setback distancing, making more sites available. And earlier this month, it announced plans to raise auction volumes from 2022 and cut the levy consumers pay to support renewable energy.

Prices in the wind tender were above those in a separate solar PV tender that closed on 1 March. Projects were successful with bids in the €46.90-51.80/MWh range, with a volume weighted average of €50.30/MWh.

Meanwhile, in the innovation tender for hybrid projects that closed on 1 April, bids were only submitted for solar PV arrays paired with energy storage systems. Developers submitted 43 bids of 509MW combined capacity – more than double the 250MW on offer.

The BNetzA awarded contracts to 18 projects with a combined capacity of 258MW. Successful bidders secured fixed market premiums in the €33.30-48.80/MWh range, with a volume weighted average of €42.90/MWh.

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