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14 Oct 2021, 13:29
Kerstine Appunn

Onshore wind energy continues slow recovery in Germany with more bids in latest tender

Clean Energy Wire

For the first time since December 2020, an onshore wind power auction was oversubscribed in Germany. Developers submitted 210 bids totalling 1,824megawatt (MW) for the tender volume of 1,492 MW. Of these, 166 bids for a total of 1,494 MW were successful, the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) said in a press release. The average awarded support rate is 5.79 ct/kWh, noticeably below the maximum value of 6.00 ct/kWh in this round. Most successful projects came from the north-western states of Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia. “The oversubscription of the tender shows the unbroken will of the energy sector to realise new wind energy projects. After we had to observe the weakest expansion in onshore wind energy for around 20 years in the last two years, these results give us hope that the expansion is gaining momentum again,” Kerstin Andreae, head of energy association BDEW commented. The BDEW said that in order to avoid a standstill for project developers between auctions, at least four instead of three rounds of auctions should be held every year.

Onshore wind power - the cornerstone of Germany's decarbonisation plans - has suffered from chronically low additional installations in recent years. The industry appeared to have achieved a turnaround in 2020, connecting almost 50 percent more turbines to the grid than in the year before, but lobby groups warn that new construction still fails to match the climate targets and the rising demand for green power.

Unlike the onshore wind sector, which is slowly picking up pace again in Germany, interest in biomass tenders was again very low. For the 275 MW put out to tender, only 100 bids totalling 86.5 MW were handed in, of which 70 MW were successful. The value of the awarded bids ranges between 12.00 ct/kWh and 18.73 ct/kWh. The average volume-weighted award value is 17.48 ct/kWh, a significant increase compared to the previous rounds. The German Biogas Association (Fachverband Biogas) said that the net addition of new biogas plants will probably decrease in 2021 as more and more biogas plants cease operation after their 20-year funding period runs out. New construction will take place almost exclusively in the small-scale liquid manure plants, of which 93 new ones are expected to be connected to the grid in 2021.  According to the association's estimates, the flexibilisation of the existing plants is also slowing down noticeably, which could only include an increase in capacity of around 120 MW at the end of the year. For the end of 2021, the association forecasts 9,692 biogas plants with a total installed capacity of 5,787 MW.

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