Surprising start to the tendering process for land-based wind power – uncertainties about the expansion roadmap pose challenges for a strong export industry
The Federal Network Agency published the results of the first EEG bidding round for onshore wind turbines last Friday. For the 800 megawatts offered for tender, bids were submitted to the tune of 2,137 megawatts. The Federal Network Agency accepted 70 bids for 224 wind turbines, which will have an overall capacity of 807 megawatts. 93 per cent of the bids and 96 per cent of the volume went to communal energy companies. The average bid was 5.71 cents per kWh.
left to right: Peter Becker, managing director Messe Husum & Congress; Mathias Zelinger, managing director of VDMA Power Systems and VDMA energy spokesman VDMA; Hermann Albers, president of the German Wind Energy Association
"We experienced a well-prepared process. Only a few bids had to be rejected on formal grounds. All things considered, this was technically a successful start. The first round of bids for onshore wind was dominated by communal energy projects, and while this massive share might be surprising, but for a start an encouraging indicator. This group of players creates the basis for local acceptance. They are however now faced with the challenge of implementing the licensing procedures. If such communal energy companies fail to realise the tendered capacities, this will result in a shortfall. This would require a new round of tenders. The price trend is developing in line with expectations. Overall, what is important is to wait and see what happens with subsequent calls for tender before we can truly gauge the impact of the tendering system in terms of the diversity of players, the expansion across Germany in general and the timeline for expansion. Insecurities also arise from the technology-neutral calls for tender in 2018 and the cross-border calls for tender that have been announced."
Matthias Zelinger, managing director of VDMA Power Systems and VDMA energy spokesman:
"The VDMA considers competitive tendering to be a suitable instrument for innovation and quantity control. There is a sufficiently high level of competition, which results in relatively cheap remuneration rates. Such extreme dominance of communal energy projects that were allowed to enter the tendering process without planning approvals was certainly unexpected, in that this model was actually conceived as the exception. This makes quantity control in relation to the aims of the shift to renewables uncertain and the volume of new builds in the important German market for 2019 extremely difficult to predict. If the results of future rounds of tendering show that this is a trend, the arrangement will have to be re-examined. The continuous expansion of renewable energy is considered to be the mainstay of Germany's energy transition. In the medium term there will be a need for addition quantities of carbon-neutral power for the direct and indirect electrification of transport and heating supply."
Peter Becker, managing director of Messe Husum & Congress:
"I consider the results of the first bidding round to be overwhelmingly positive. The new tendering system could reduce the level of subventions and generate vital competition. It will certainly be necessary to wait and see how future calls for tender play out before a proper summary can be made. This makes the timing of this year's HUSUM Wind ideal: the results of the second round should be out by then, the submission of tenders for the third round follows in November, and the federal election in September will also determine the course ahead. This makes our wind trade fair the ideal platform to evaluate the first round, and to draw conclusions for the last round. In addition to promising themes such as sector coupling, grid integration and offshore, the subject of tendering will also play an important role in discussions and events at HUSUM Wind 2017." A total of 650 exhibitors will be showing at HUSUM Wind, representing the complete value chain, and 18,000 trade visitors are expected from home and abroad. This year's partner state is North Rhine-Westphalia.
Photo: Press conference
Captions: left to right: Peter Becker, managing director Messe Husum & Congress; Mathias Zelinger, managing director of VDMA Power Systems and VDMA energy spokesman VDMA; Hermann Albers, president of the German Wind Energy Association
Photo credit: BWE / Silke Reents
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About HUSUM Wind
HUSUM Wind takes place from 12 to 15 September 2017 and focuses on the industry's most important core market: the cutting edge German wind energy market. Over 650 exhibitors from the onshore and offshore wind industry will be showcasing their most important products and innovations. Every two years this traditional wind industry meeting place in the heart of wind pioneer country on the North Sea coast provides a forum for comparing notes and creates practically oriented added value.
About the German Wind Energy Association (BWE)
As a member of the German Renewable Energy Association (BEE), the BWE represents the whole of the wind industry and boasts 20,000 members. Together, the suppliers and manufacturers anchored in the mechanical engineering industry, project developers, specialist lawyers, the financial sector, logistics and construction firms, service and maintenance and power storage enterprises, electricity traders, grid operators and energy suppliers ensure that the BWE is the first point of contact for all questions about wind energy for government and industry, science and media.
About VDMA Power Systems
VDMA Power Systems is a professional body belonging to the German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association
(VDMA). The association represents the interests of the manufacturers of wind and hydroelectric power plants, thermal turbines, power plants and engine systems at home and abroad. For all of these, VDMA Power Systems serves as an information and communication platform for industry topics such as energy policy, legislation, market analyses, trade fairs, standards and standardisation, as well as press and public relations.