The level of support should depend on the equivalent number of hours operated at full load by a particular turbine, explains Allnoch. This variable is found by dividing the annual production of the machine by the installed nominal capacity. The aim is that the volume of subsidy would decrease as the number of equivalent full load hours increases, but turbines in high wind areas would still earn more than those in regions of less wind.
The first advantage of the linear support model is its simplicity. The only variable is the figure representing the equivalent of full load hours. This is calculated from the actual annual production figure and installed capacity -- figures immediately available to a utility.
Second, the size of investment in a project is no longer artificially reduced by the support subsidy, as is the case at the moment. The real costs can be clearly seen.
Third, the fixed values in the subsidy formula -- maximum and minimum payments per kWh -- would be set as each Länder saw fit, leaving open the option of adding other factors, such as noise emissions, to the formula. Adjusting the fixed values would also make it possible to steer geographic developments. Wind turbines not erected on prime wind sites could be granted a higher rate of support, making it more attractive to seek sites away from the coast.