Germany’s latest onshore wind tender has again been significantly undersubscribed, failing to come anywhere near the 650 megawatts (MW) on offer and awarding only 208 MW, continuing a year-long trend which can be easily traced back to substantial permitting issues.
Germany’s Bundesnetzagentur, the country’s Federal Network Agency, announced the results of its latest onshore wind energy tender last week, claiming that “The level of competition has once again dropped markedly.” Specifically, of the 650 MW which was on offer, only 208 MW were awarded — only 32% of the available capacity on offer, a 21% decline on the similarly failed onshore wind tender announced in May.
This latest tender awarded a total of 32 projects located across the German states of Brandenburg and North Rhine-Westphalia each with eight surcharges, Lower Saxony with five projects awarded, and Thuringia with four.
The average awarded price was €62 per megawatt-hour (MWh), with bids of only €61.9/MWh and €62/MWh.
As has already been widely covered over the past year, state permitting issues and delays are resulting in a lack of interest in development, with permitting processes that once took only 10 months two years ago now taking in excess of two years to proceed. Further, even when a project does receive a permit, they are increasingly being challenged in the courts. According to WindEurope, the region’s wind energy trade body, there is now a total of 11 gigawatts (GW) of onshore wind projects stuck in various stages of permitting.
“It’s disconcerting when the capacity onshore wind projects are winning at auctions is falling by the round in Europe’s biggest wind market,” said WindEurope Head of Advocacy & Messaging Viktoriya Kerelska. “It’s clear that the permitting process in Germany is not fit for purpose. The fact that’s it taking longer and longer to get a permit is undermining Germany’s target of 65% renewables in electricity by 2030 just as we need to be intensifying build-out efforts.
“The German Government must now act decisively to put wind farm permitting back on track. And should enact concrete measures after the wind energy crisis meeting that’s set for after the summer break. Failure to do so will mean insufficient volumes to deliver on the Energiewende, end-consumers paying higher prices and the German wind supply chain put under increasing pressure.”