Prices fall further after second German solar tenders, says BNetzA

Companies that won bids in Germany's 160MW second round of PV tenders will be entitled to €0.0849 ($0.0948) per kilowatt hour of electricity – less than winning bids in a first 150MW round held in April, Germany's federal grid agency BNetzA said. 

"We had seen relatively low prices already in the first tendering round. The price level of the second round is even lower," BNetzA president Jochen Homann said.

"Reactions of bidders to the pressure of high competition from the first tendering round have led to lower bids across the board.  Now we are [watching closely] how the projects will be put into practice."

A total of 33 bids with a combined capacity of 159.7MW won in the second round of pilot PV tenders that Germany has kicked off this year.

The second tendering round was carried out under the so-called uniform pricing system, under which the price of the last winning bid determines the price for all successful bids.

A similar system is used in wholesale electricity markets. BNetzA will also use this system for a third 200MW round scheduled for December. In the first round, the agency applied a "pay-as-bid" system under which each winning bid gets exactly the level of support it bid for.

The agency will evaluate the results of the different systems for use at tenders for other renewables technologies planned to kick in from 2017.

Last month, the government set out draft proposals for those tenders, which are slated to cover more than 80% of power generated by all future wind and solar projects. Germany will auction off a further 400MW of PV next year, followed by 300MW in 2017.

The country is starting to carry out tenders after pressure from the European Commission to change its feed-in tariff renewables support system toward a more "market-oriented" one.