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Solar Stifles Wind In German Renewable Energy Tender, May Repeat Soon In Greece

What it you held a renewable energy auction and nobody from the wind energy industry showed up? That’s what happened in Germany last week.

Solar Power Dominates In Germany

In April, Germany’s Federal Network Agency invited companies to submit proposals for mote than 200 megawatts of new renewable energy. It got offers for 553 megawatts (MW) of new solar from 113 bidders, but none for new wind projects. In the end, the agency awarded 203.7 MW of new solar to 30 applicants.

The successful bidders have not yet been named because doing so starts the clock on when the projects must be completed. With delays created by the coronavirus pandemic, it wants to delay the final announcement until all the contracts have been signed.

The agency did say the majority of projects will be located in Bavaria and that the bid prices ranged from $0.0545 to $0.0615 per kWh.

Greece Invites Tenders For Wind & Solar

Last week, RAE, the energy regulator for Greece, asked for tenders on 482 MW of solar from systems of 20 MW or less and 481 MW of wind power from systems of 50 MW or less. Bids are due by June 29 and the final awards will be made on July 27. Solar projects of less than 1 MW must be completed within one year. Those between 1 MW and 5 MW must be completed in 15 months, and those over 5 MW have to be operational within 18 months.

While the tender process is technology neutral, in the last round in April, all the contracts except one went to solar projects.

It seems clear from both of this case and the German one above that solar has become hyper-competitive. Whereas wind power was generally cheaper than solar power in most areas of the world, it now struggles to defeat solar power’s shockingly low prices. Solar once needed to be separated from wind to win tenders. Now it seems wind may need to be separated from solar.

Post-Corona

Germany and Greece are advocating for a green energy push as the threat of the coronavirus recedes. Greece and seven other European nations called last week for the resumption of solar panel manufacturing.

The coronavirus is not the last challenge the nations of the world will face in this century. Prudent judgment suggests making sensible plans now to deal with future social disruptions, but prudence is not much in vogue in several nations at present, especially some self-proclaimed world leaders.


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Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his homes in Florida and Connecticut or anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. You can follow him on Twitter but not on any social media platforms run by evil overlords like Facebook.

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