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Onshore wind volumes pick up in Germany's last tender of year

Developers in Germany were awarded rights to build 509 MW of new onshore wind parks in the country's last renewables tender of the year, marking the end of a series of wind power auctions that failed to attract enough bidders.

The tender, for 500 MW, attracted 76 bids for a total capacity of 686 MW, with 56 projects getting the go-ahead. Sliding premiums awarded to the successful bidders ranged from €57.4/MWh to €61.8/MWh and premiums averaged €61.1/MWh, a decline from €62/MWh during the previous round.

Winners included Germany's third-largest utility EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG and a slew of independent project developers, including ABO Wind AG, PNE AG, Energiekontor AG and juwi AG, majority-owned by regional utility MVV Energie AG.

It was the first time since August 2018 that an onshore wind auction was not under-subscribed, although the volume was capped lower than during previous rounds. Wind association BWE said the result was a "positive signal" but warned that the industry continues to be "under massive pressure" waiting for political movement to spur a revival in planning permissions.

Even the regulator cautioned that it was still too early to judge whether it meant a turnaround for onshore wind's fortunes in Germany, where slow approvals at the regional level, coupled with a surge in lawsuits against proposed wind projects, already caused the volume of installations to collapse last year.

Amid the dearth of new installations, focus has shifted to offshore wind to achieve Germany's climate targets. The next onshore wind auction is scheduled for February 2020.