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Germans voice auction concerns

Lobby group BWE said dropping feed-ins drew 'highly speculative' bids

Germans voice auction concerns image

German wind industry lobby group BWE president Hermann Albers (pictured) has questioned the soundness of the country’s offshore wind auction results. 

The government has swapped the “reliable instrument” of former feed-in tariffs for a “highly speculative” instrument, he said. 

Developers EnBW and Dong Energy won the first auctions with bids as low as zero, pledging to build and operate three wind farms without the support of a feed-in tariff and relying instead on the market rate.

In their bids, EnBW and Dong Energy assume a much higher spot electricity price as well as a strong degression of hardware costs, Albers said. A cross-subsidization with their electricity sales cannot be ruled out, he added. 

If their assumptions prove to be wrong, the projects might not be built, potentially distorting the energy industry, Albers said.

He called on the German government to ensure fair competition in offshore wind auctions, arguing that smaller firms not backed by state ownership may not be able to act as speculatively as EnBW and Dong Energy. 

Meanwhile, wind industry body WAB head Andreas Wellbrock welcomed the auction results. "After the offshore wind industry has long been decried as a cost driver of the energy transition, it will now be the first renewable energy to go subsidy-free," he said.

Image: BWE

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