Wind energy: New negative record in tenders

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Wind turbine

Even with the approval, fewer and fewer wind turbines are being installed in Germany.

(Photo: AP)

DusseldorfIn Germany not only fewer and fewer wind turbines are being built, hardly anyone wants to build any more. The second round of calls for onshore wind energy has applied for just 20 per cent of the eligible projects. This resulted in an analysis of the agency Windenergie on land.

Of the 650 megawatts (MW) tendered, just 270 MW could be awarded for the construction of new wind turbines. The evaluation is exclusively available to Handelsblatt. After the abolition of fixed state compensation, the wind industry has to compete in open tenders for the amount of subsidies.

“The situation is slowly coming to a head. From round to round, the participation is getting worse, “warns wind expert Jürgen Quentin of wind energy ashore. More and more citizens fight against wind turbines in their neighborhood – even in court. The lawsuits against the now over 200 meters high plants are piling up, the expansion threatens to stall.

Experts see the biggest problem in the accumulating complaints. Hardly any wind farm will be built without landing in court. More than 1,000 citizens' initiatives all over Germany are now fighting against the construction of new facilities.

The duration of the proceedings can sometimes take several years for such complaints. The problem: If a project is awarded the contract for a tender, only a time window of two, up to a maximum of two and a half years to actually realize the wind farm. Otherwise penalties ranging from 150,000 to 200,000 euros – per system.

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Quentin also sees the reason for the poor participation in the tender rounds. Although there are no statistics on this, it would have been the result of spot-on research that the expansion of at least 750 megawatts of power had been abandoned because actions were pending.

Expansion in the south comes to a halt

“At the profitability it can not lie at least. The price has risen again in recent auctions. “If the average price per supplement in May of last year was 4.73 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), in the current round it rose to the upper bid limit of 6.20 per kWh. “Although the permits are in the drawers, the participants are not in the tenders,” says Quentin.

In addition, the low level of participation further aggravates the unequal regional distribution. “Since the tender was launched, nearly 90 percent of all wind turbines have been slated for projects north of the Main Line,” while expansion in the South has almost come to a standstill. It would need just here with regard to the nuclear energy going from the grid more wind power.

With a relaxation of the downward trend Jürgen Quentin does not expect at the next auction round in August. “If this goes on, we can not reach our climate goals.”

By 2030, the federal government wants to increase the share of renewable energies in the electricity mix from the current 38 percent to 65 percent. Most of it should shoulder wind energy. Currently more than 55 gigawatts (GW) of installed capacity are installed in Germany. The German Wind Energy Association expects that it will need an additional 4.5 GW per year to achieve this goal in eleven years.

More: More and more Germans fight against wind turbines in their neighborhood – even in court. Wind energy is supposed to have an increasing share in the electricity mix.

Handelsblatt Energy Briefing

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