Germany’s onshore wind tenders slumped back into undersubscription territory when a February round for 900MW drew bids of just 527MW, said the country's federal network agency BNetzA.

The latest shortfall echoes a string of flops in German onshore auctions last year as the sector grapples with permitting and other negative regulatory issues.

That trend looked like it may be ending in December when 686MW of bids for 500MW marked the first oversubscribed tender of 2019, when a total of just 1.8GW out of 3.6GW offered was awarded across six separate onshore wind auctions, according to WindEurope figures.

But the latest auction marked a reverse, confirmed BNetzA, with 523MW actually accepted from 66 proejcts.

BNetzA and national wind associations were proved right to be highly cautious over whether December marked a turning point in the onshore sector’s fortunes, with VDMA Power Systems, a group representing wind OEMs, warning then that “the current slight oversubscription is a temporary high at best and represents neither a sustainable, nor healthy competition”.

The undersubscription is a symptom of a malaise that pushed land-based wind installations to historic lows last year in what has traditionally been Europe’s renewables powerhouse, with devastating consequences for parts of its supply chain.

The average price in the latest onshore wind auction was €61.8/MWh ($66.7/MWh), more or less flat on the December level.

By contrast, Germany’s first solar tender was massively oversubscribed, with 493MW entering a 100MW auction. The winning average solar price was €50/MWh, down on the previous round’s €56.9/MWh.