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Onshore wind bids exceed auctioned capacity for first time in 2020 in Germany

An onshore wind tender in Germany has been oversubscribed for the first time this year. For a tendered capacity of 366 MW, 96 bids with a combined volume of 657 MW were submitted, of which 58 projects with a combined capacity of 399 MW were successful, the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur) reports. Winning bids are mainly located in the northern and western German states of Schleswig-Holstein (31 projects), North Rhine-Westphalia (11) and Lower Saxony (8); they will receive feed-in support of between 5.59 and 6.07 cents per kilowatt-hour.

In 2020, a total of 3,860 MW of onshore wind was put out to tender, but only 2,672 MW were awarded, the German Wind Energy Association (BWE) said.  “1,188 MW of lost volume weigh heavily on the energy transition. A rapid increase in the number of permits and new builds is needed to close the gap that has arisen, BWE president Hermann Albers commented. Albers said the main reason for the last auction of the year being oversubscribed was the uncertainty around new rules under the 2021 Renewable Energy Act that will come into effect on 1 January.

The simultaneously held solar PV tender was again heavily oversubscribed – 186 projects with a total volume of 936 MW met an auctioned capacity of 256 MW. The 45 winning bids will receive between 4.88 and 5.26 ct/kWh.

Unlike onshore wind auctions, which have been undersubscribed for the last two years, interest in solar PV tenders has remained high. The building of new wind farms in Germany has been impeded by lengthy approval processes and local opposition, leading to a sharp drop in added capacity since 2018. Changes to the new renewable energy legislation that will take effect in January 2021 are to boost public acceptance of turbines. The current share of renewable power in Germany’s electricity consumption stands at around 46 percent. The government target for 2030 is 65 percent, with many stakeholders arguing that a growing amount of e-cars and electric heatings will require much more than that, especially in the light of more ambitious EU climate targets.

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