London — Germany's latest onshore wind auction was only marginally undersubscribed with 769 MW awarded of 825 MW offered, the highest volume in almost three years, grid regulator BNetzA said Oct. 26.
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Some 86 wind projects were awarded subsidies with an average sliding premium of Eur61.10/MWh, marginally below the maximum bid allowed of Eur62/MWh.
Of the total, 268 MW were awarded to projects in northern Germany's so-called grid saturation zone, which was oversubscribed.
The final 2020 onshore wind tender for 367 MW has a Dec. 1 deadline.
Since 2017, 14 of 16 onshore wind tenders have been undersubscribed due to a drastic slowdown in project approvals.
Increased participation in the tenders signals a modest rebound for German onshore wind.
Permits are on track to a four-year-high with over 2 GW new projects permitted in the first nine months, wind association BWE said based on a report by consultancy FA Wind an Land.
According to the consultancy, September alone saw over 400 MW permitted with 2020 potentially reaching 2.7 GW compared with 1.9 GW in 2019.
The government tries to address acceptance issues in various ways including a payment by wind operators to host communities as well as changes to the planning law including waving the previously proposed nationwide rule on distance to housing of wind turbines.
RWE won 16 MW in the the tender and plans to invest Eur1 billion ($1.2 billion) into German wind (including offshore) over the next three years, the head of RWE Renewables Anja-Isabell Dotzenrath said in a statement Oct. 26 describing the German new onshore wind project market as challenging.
Germany's biggest power generator operates some 600 MW onshore wind capacity out of a total 54 GW.
German Onshore Wind Tender Price Comparison
Source: BNetzA, S&P Global Platts
Small solar tender oversubscribed
A 150 MW solar tender, meanwhile, was oversubscribed, with 393 MW of projects bidding for premium tariffs.
Thirty projects with 103 MW of capacity were awarded with the average price up slightly at Eur52.3/MWh.
The next solar tender with a Dec. 1 deadline only has a volume of 257 MW with an open-technology tender for 200 MW planned for November, dominated by solar.
Germany planned to tender 6.5 GW of onshore wind/solar across 18 auctions in 2020 with some 4 GW awarded so far, of which 2.5 GW is onshore.
Awarded onshore wind volumes for 2020 already exceed awarded volumes in 2019 and 2018, with 2021 volumes potentially rising to 4.5 GW to help offset retirements of first generation turbines from January, with 16 GW running out of 20-year support contracts by 2025.
German Ground-based Solar Tender Comparison
Source: BNetzA (*=open technology awarded solely to solar)