Low auction turnout means “renewed wake-up call” for German wind power
Clean Energy Wire / dpa / Welt Online
Only 208 out of the 650 megawatts (MW) of onshore wind power auctioned have been awarded in the latest German tender in August due to low bidder turnout, the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) reported. The bidders' interest in onshore wind compared to the capacities tendered has fallen gradually in the last three auctions, from 71 percent in February to 45 percent in May to now just above 30 percent. Hermann Albers, head of wind energy association BWE, called the auction’s results “a renewed wake-up call for the politically responsible to act now”. BWE points to 15,800 MW of onshore wind being blocked due to licensing problems, locations too close to aviation infrastructure and ongoing lawsuits as reasons for the low bidder turnout. “Each under-tendered auction reduces the onshore wind power expansion needed for the industry, the energy transition and climate protection goals,” Albers said.
Following the weak tender, Alex Robertson, vice president of sales for Germany, Austria and Switzerland at Danish wind turbine group Vestas, has called for a national wind industry action plan, warning that the world’s largest turbine manufacturer sees “an urgent need for action” in Germany. “If this trend continues, Germany will not be able to achieve the targets it has set itself and succeed in its energy transition,” Robertson told news agency dpa.
In an analysis of the situation, Welt Online wrote that the German wind industry was “threatened by decline”, having shed 26,000 jobs in one year.
After years of rapid growth, Germany’s onshore wind power's expansion has almost come to a standstill in the first half of 2019, when only 35 turbines were added. Economy minister Peter Altmaier has invited wind power industry representatives to a crisis meeting in September. As a leading force of the country's renewables industry, onshore wind power is a key element of Germany’s energy transition.