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German onshore wind auction falls flat amid permit bottleneck

Only 270MW out of 650MW on offer successful, while winning prices are little changed at €61.30/MWh

Germany’s latest onshore wind auction was heavily undersubscribed amid permitting bottlenecks at state authorities, the federal network agency (BNetzA) said.

“The competitive level for the second tendering round 2019 with an undersubscription of 55% has reached a worrying proportions,” the BNetzA said in a note.

A total of 35 bids with a combined volume of only 270MW were successful, although 650MW had been up for auction.

Winning bids averaged €61.30 ($69.01) per megawatt hour, slightly up from €61.10 seen at the previous auction.

Administrative hurdles in permitting and ill designed rules in onshore auctions in 2017 have already resulted in a collapse of new installations last year, with net additions for wind on land falling to 2.15GW in 2018 from 4.87GW a year earlier. The wind sector fears 2019 installation figures will be even worse.

German onshore wind installations collapse to 20-year low

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The onshore malaise comes at a time the government in Berlin actually intends to raise renewable additions in order to reach a target of 65% of renewable power in the country’s electricity mix by 2030.

German wind and renewables associations warn the 2030 target will be missed unless permitting becomes easier and North-South grid bottlenecks are addressed.

The Agora Energiewende think-tank today presented 15 points to be included in a climate protection law in the making in order for Germany to reach its ambitious 2030 climate targets and to avoid up to €60bn in EU fines for missing the targets.

Among them is a demand to raise the annual onshore wind expansion to 4GW, the 2030 target for offshore wind to 20GW (from 15GW currently envisaged), and the solar power expansion target to 5GW per year.

The think-tank also demands the introduction of a €50 per ton CO2 price in transport and heating.

Germany’s environment minister Svenja Schulze from the Social Democrats (SPD) has been drafting a climate protection law that includes binding targets for each sector, such as transport, and fines for ministries that don’t achieve them.

The proposal has, however, met fierce opposition from the larger party in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s governing coalition, the Christian Democrats (CDU) and Christian Social Union (CSU).

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