Fifty-two onshore wind projects with a total of roughly 475MW that had been granted permits by the end of 2016 did not register for the FIT-type support and therefore will probably take part in the onshore wind auction system.
The other 8,365MW of onshore capacity permitted by end-2016 looks likely to be built under the FIT support system in the transition period 2017 and 2018, according to BWE.
This secures a stable annual expansion of German onshore wind in the transition years 2017 and 2018 at roughly the same level as over the past three years, said BWE president Hermann Albers.
However, in the revision of the Renewable Energy Act in 2016, the government secured a steep, step-by-step fall in feed-in payment rates, from €0.838/kWh on 1 January 2017 to €0.0749/ kWh on 1 January 2018 and €0.0697/kWh from 1 October 2018.
Germany's first auction for setting the support rate for onshore wind was launched on 8 March, for a volume of 800MW. Bids must be lodged with federal energy regulator Bundesnetzagentur by 2 May 2017.
The maximum bid allowed is €0.07/kWh. Developers will bid an amount per kilowatt hour for their project adjusted to what the value would be at a theoretical reference wind location with optimal conditions.
This should allow projects in regions across Germany with a range of wind conditions to compete with each other on equal terms. The lowest bids up to the total 800MW allocation will be successful.
However, bids in connection with projects located in the temporary so-called network expansion region in northern Germany — a region where grid expansion has failed to keep up with wind energy growth, resulting in curtailments of wind farm output — support allocations made through the auction are allowed up to a limit of 258MW.
Any changes to the network expansion region regulation cannot be implemented before 1 January 2020, said the BNA in its statement on 8 March 2017.