Germany launches 670 MW onshore wind energy tender for August

Germany has launched the third onshore wind tender this year with 670 MW of subsidized contracts on offer, grid regulator BNetzA said.

Developers can hand in bids by August 1 with a Eur63/MWh maximum bid allowed – unchanged from the previous round, it said.

In the latest auction in May, successful bids averaged at Eur57.30/MWh, the second rise in a row after prices in the final auction in 2017 dropped below Eur40/MWh.

So-called ‘citizen energy projects’ which dominated last year’s auctions without pre-approval are excluded this year.

This sharply reduced the number of projects competing with May’s auction undersubscribed for the first time.

Unusually low prices from the ‘badly designed’ auctions in 2017 led some developers to ‘upscale’ projects causing delays in the permissioning process, German wind lobby group BWE said.

The group expects the boom in onshore wind, which saw some 15 GW added over the past three years, come to a halt in 2019.

Volumes in the so-called ‘grid expansion zone’ already saturated with wind turbines along Germany’s coast are also limited to 314 MW in this round, the regulator said.

Subsidized-contracts will be awarded to the lowest bidders as Germany attempts to drive down costs for renewables subsidies with remarkable success. Even with auction prices rising this year, the average remains below current feed-in-tariffs for legacy onshore projects of around Eur70/MWh, while ground-based solar tender prices are down over 50% in three years, with solar actually beating onshore wind in the first ever mixed tender in April.

The annual tender volume for onshore wind is currently pegged around 2.8 GW with total installed onshore wind capacity expected to reach 54 GW by end-2018.

Germany’s new government also plans to auction an additional 8 GW of onshore wind and solar before 2020 but with details for those extra auctions delayed.

TABLE: German Onshore Wind Tender Comparison

May-17 807 MW 57.1
Aug-17 1,013 MW 42.8
Nov-17 1,004 MW 38.2
Feb-18 709 MW 46
May-18 604 MW 57.3
Aug-18 670 MW tba
Nov-18 700 MW tba

Source: BNetzA

–Andreas Franke,
–Edited by Jeremy Lovell,