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18 Oct 2019, 14:27
Benjamin Wehrmann

Engineering association rings alarm as next German wind power auction undersubscribed

Clean Energy Wire

After a massive undersubscription of Germany's onshore wind power auction in October, the engineering association VDMA Power Systems has warned that a crisis in the wind power sector could pose a threat to German climate targets, and also to jobs. According to Germany's network agency BNetzA, applications were submitted for only about one third of the wind power volume auctioned. It was the sixth time in a row over the past twelve months that onshore wind power auctions in Germany failed to attract enough bidders. "The ongoing doldrums in expansion are terrifying," said VDMA Power Systems head Matthias Zelinger. He urged the economy ministry to act quickly on measures presented earlier this month. These aim to revive expansion by removing regulatory barriers that prevent the licensing of many turbines and to increase acceptance among residents to avoid lawsuits against new projects. Zelinger said the “not very intelligent" idea to set a fixed minimum distance for new turbines should be removed from the ministry's set of measures.
Network agency BNetzA said that only 204 megawatts (MW) out of 675 MW auctioned had been covered by bids. The average remuneration awarded for the 25 successful projects stood at 6.2 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). On the other hand, the interest in parallel auctions for solar power exceeded the auctioned volume of 648 MW, with successful 27 projects receiving an average remuneration of 4.9 ct/kWh. 

Onshore wind power in Germany is going through its worst growth phase in two decades, with the number of turbines added falling to the lowest level since the year 2000 in the first half of 2019. Wind power is supposed to become a cornerstone of Germany's future energy supply and the government has presented plans to greatly increase the expansion of renewables until 2030 as part of the country's recent climate action package.

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