The results of the first call for tenders for wind energy on land caused a stir, and not a little anxiety, in the industry. Far above 90 percent of the accepted wind farms were citizens’ energy projects – an extremely high share given the historical development of the German wind market. The majority of the citizens’ energy projects were allowed to submit tenders without possessing the important ‘BImSchG’ immission control approval.
This is a risky step, not only for industrial enterprises but for the development of the industry as a whole. The citizens’ energy projects are set to be implemented in four or five years, and a lot can happen on the way to obtaining their approval. The entire industry and its supply chain could lose their basis for planning. Fortunately, at the suggestion of the trade organisations, the German Federal Government has swiftly resolved to correct this matter, and citizens’ energy projects will be required to have "BImSchG" approvals for tenders in 2018.
From the point of view of the wind industry, it would be preferable if, in the future, eligibility for tenders was restricted to approved projects. It could be relatively easy to limit the share of accepted citizens’ energy projects in the overall tender procedure. Historically, their share in the German wind market is closer to under 30% than over 90%.
The results of the calls for tenders also show that tenders instead of fixed feed-in tariffs – for wind and photovoltaics, onshore as well as offshore – often lead to surprises. Although raising competition through tenders is a sound approach, it is important that, after a tender round, there is room for corrections and adjustments before the next one begins. However, since this requires amendments of the law, there could be unwanted delays: Hence, the remaining calls for tenders for onshore wind in 2017 will, regrettably, still be governed by the rules of the first round of tenders.
Nevertheless, despite the issues surrounding the offshore wind tenders, we wish you a wonderful and relaxed summer!