FRANKFURT, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Germany has awarded 1 gigawatt (GW) of onshore wind capacity in its third auction this year, the country’s network regulator said on Wednesday, with a further step up in the competitiveness of bids underscoring the pressure on turbine makers.
The Bundesnetzagentur (BnetzA) introduced an auction system this year to award licences, aiming to intensify competition among project developers in order to lower costs and wean renewable energy off subsidies.
This has put immense pressure on wind turbine makers, including Vestas, Siemens Gamesa and Nordex , which have all cut jobs or forecasts due to the fact that project developers need ever cheaper turbines to compete.
The results of BnetzA’s latest auction confirm this trend, as projects were approved at an average price requiring a subsidy of 3.8 euro cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), down 11 percent from the 4.29 euro cents/kWh average in August.
That was also down a third from the first round in May.
The third auction, which brings the total amount of this year’s awarded capacity to 2.82 GW, once again favoured citizens’ co-operatives over big commercial players in order to make development more acceptable within local communities.
They accounted for 98 percent of the successful bids.
BnetzA said it accepted 61 bids for a combined volume of 1,000 megawatt (MW). In total, 210 bids were submitted with a total capacity of 2,591 MW.
Renewables accounted for nearly 32 percent of Germany’s power consumption in 2016, with onshore wind the biggest source at 11 percent, according to industry group BDEW. Germany is aiming for renewables to generate 40-45 percent of its energy by 2025. (Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Mark Potter)