Oversubscribed tender may signal change of fortunes for German wind

Oversubscribed tender may signal change of fortunes for German wind

After a series of flops, the latest German onshore wind tender was oversubscribed, which may indicate a change of direction in what used to be Europe’s largest wind market.

Germany’s federal grids agency (BNetzA) received 686MW in bids for 500MW on offer, following a streak of undersubscribed tenders for wind on land this year.

The agency ended up awarding 56 bids with a combined volume of 509MW that won with an average bid of €61.11 per megawatt hour ($68/MWh). That was down from €62/MWh at the last onshore wind auction, and the first time this year the price edged slightly lower again.

The BNetzA nevertheless was cautious and said it was too early to tell whether the latest tender really meant a change of direction for onshore wind energy in Germany.

Wind associations were also cautious.

“The current slight oversubscription is a temporary high at best and represents neither a sustainable, nor healthy competition,” said Gerd Krieger, deputy managing director at VDMA Power Systems, a group representing wind OEMs.

Krieger added a list of measures handed in to the economics ministry to increase acceptance and legal security for onshore wind energy is still being blocked.

Previous tendering rounds this year had failed to attract bidders amid a permitting malaise that bodes badly for the future of the already troubled wind industry in the country. At the same time, new installations have already reached their lowest level since 2000, with only 287MW added during the first half of this year.

UPDATED to add comment by wind associations