This year’s second round of the German onshore wind tender awarded projects totaling 1.53 GW, significantly below the targeted 2.86 GW, yet it still indicates a sustained upward trend observed since the beginning of the year.
As many as 127 bids with a combined capacity of 1.59 GW were submitted by May 1 and seven of them were excluded from the competition due to formal errors, the Federal Network Agency said on Thursday. The targeted capacity was reduced from 3.19 GW in April amid concerns over sluggish interest in the competition.
The bids submitted in the call were in the range of EUR 0.0725 per kWh to EUR 0.0735 per kWh with the volume-weighted average price standing at EUR 0.0734 (USD 0.081), just below the cap.
Although the latest round remained significantly undersubscribed, the awards of 1.53 GW mean that almost 3 GW have been allocated since the start of 2023. This is almost equal to the result for the entire 2022 when contracts for only 3.29 GW were awarded. In 2023, two more rounds of the tender will take place with bidding deadlines on August 1 and November 1, suggesting an acceleration as compared with the previous year.
Commenting on the development of the sector, the Federal Network Agency’s president Klaus Mueller also noted that approvals of onshore wind energy projects in the first quarter of 2023 increased by 66% year on year.
“The upward trend is stabilising, but it continues to rely on too few federal states,” said Baerbel Heidebroek, President of the German wind energy association BWE.
Once again, North Rhine-Westphalia, as well as the northern states of Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein, accounted for a total of 1,002 MW in the tender, representing 65% of the awards. According to Heidebroek, this shows that the recent laws meant to speed up wind energy expansion must be implemented in all federal states and more approvals must be granted.
Heidebroek pointed out several challenges in project implementation, including disrupted supply chains and the issue of transport permits, which has become a significant problem, threatening to lead to delayed commissioning in more than a third of the ongoing projects. She emphasised the necessity for proactive measures from the Federal Ministry of Transport to tackle this challenge. According to her, the recently approved amendment to the Road Traffic Transport Escort Regulation is merely an initial step, highlighting the need for additional actions.
Heidebroek expressed optimism in view of rising approval numbers, which can enhance participation in future tenders. Taking into account the German government’s goal of achieving 115 GW of onshore wind capacity by 2030, it is already apparent that a substantial acceleration, accompanied by adjusted tender volumes, will be required starting from 2025, she added.