Germany’s response to the coronavirus pandemic mustn’t divert attention away from the continuing problems plaguing the country’s wind power sector, industry association BWE has said, as another onshore wind tendering round closed heavily undersubscribed.
Bids worth only 151MW out of 300MW on offer in the March tendering round won, reaching an average price of €60.70 ($66.83) per MWh, BWE said, pointing to information given by Germany’s grids agency BNetzA to bidders individually.
Due to the coronavirus crisis, the agency has not publicly announced the results of renewables tenders in order to avoid a deadline for the construction of projects to kick-in immediately.
The repeated undersubscription in the tender should ring alarm bells for the German government, BWE president Herman Albers said, adding that the energy ministry since last October has been sitting on a list of measures to revive the country’s collapsing wind installations.
“The coronavirus crisis must not mask the political standstill with which the industry has been struggling for a long time and which is leading the industry, employment and climate policy ever deeper into the cul-de-sac,” said Albers.
By dismantling administrative barriers important investments could be mobilised quickly, thus securing local value creation, he added.
Most onshore wind tenders in Germany have been undersubscribed since 2018 amid a toxic mix of permitting constraints, protests by not-in-my-backyard (Nimby) groups, and administrative barriers.
In consequence, onshore wind additions last year fell to their lowest level since the late 1990's in what used to be Europe's largest market for wind on land.
Germany’s parliament on Wednesday had approved the largest aid package in the country’s post-war history to help Europe’s largest economy through the expected severe downturn triggered by the Coronavirus. The Bundestag allowed the government to suspend its zero deficit rule, okayed a €122.5bn supplementary budget for this year, and also a €600bn fund to stabilise businesses.
While much of Germany’s industry will receive massive financial aid, the wind industry for a new start doesn’t even need money, but only administrative support, Albers stressed.
“It is increasingly incomprehensible that no action is taken in this respect,” he said. “Every newly installed wind turbine ensures work and employment in this difficult time. Politics must take action now!”