14 May 2019, 13:27
Benjamin Wehrmann

German wind industry and grid agency sound alarm after substantial drop in auction turnout

Clean Energy Wire

The German Wind Power Association (BWE) has called for “joint efforts” to secure a steady expansion of the country’s wind power capacity after the volume auctioned in Germany’s second onshore wind tender in 2019 again has not been fully exploited. “The BWE appeals to everyone involved – from the federal government and the federal states to licensing authorities and courts – to help end this threatening situation for Germany’s wind power industry,” the lobby group said in a press release. The BWE said it was “not surprised” by the low turnout in the auction, adding that it hoped that the decline in expansion had bottomed out. Germany’s Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) on Monday announced that 55 percent of the second tender with a total volume of 650 megawatts (MW) had not been used, saying the lack of interest had reached “alarming proportions.” According to the BNetzA, difficulties in obtaining construction licenses at the regional level played an important role in the low interest in onshore wind power auctions. Support levels in the auction ranged between 5.4 and 6.2 eurocents per kilowatt hour.

Onshore wind power is a cornerstone of Germany’s energy transition, the Energiewende, and is set to become the country’s most important power source of the future. Wind power is already the country’s most important renewable power source, at times providing almost 50 percent of its electricity mix. Wind power lobby groups have warned that the switch from fixed support levels to auctions in 2017 would dent the expansion trajectory as licensing procedures would thereby become less predictable. The industry also grapples with heavy resistance from local residents, who object to the construction of increasingly larger turbines near their homes.

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