Germany’s 890 MW Solar Tender Undersubscribed Due to Module Price Volatility

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For the second time since June this year, Germany’s tenders for ground-mounted solar projects have received a lukewarm response. The total submitted bids stood at 677 MW, nearly 24% less than the tendered capacity.

The tender in June for 1.126 GW of solar projects was undersubscribed by 412 MW, which means a whopping 37% of the tendered capacity didn’t find any takers.

For the latest tenders, the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur)  said 104 bids for a cumulative capacity of 609 MW were accepted in the round, which closed on November 1, 2022.

Thirteen bids had to be excluded from the procedure due to formal errors.

The Federal Network Agency attributed the lack of interest in the auction to the significant increase in tendered capacity, which rose to more than 3,000 MW in 2022 from 1,850 MW the previous year.

The agency added that securing modules and forecasting their prices have been challenging.

The volume-weighted average tariff in this round is €0.0580 (~$0.061)/kWh, which is higher than the weighted average tariff of €0.0551 (~$0.058)/kWh discovered in the previous round.

The average volume-weighted surcharge value has risen by €0.0008 (~$0.00084)/kWh within a year.

The tariffs ​​determined in the bids range between €0.0520 (~$0.055)/kWh and €0.0590 (~$0.062)/kWh.

In terms of regions, the largest volume was awarded to projects in Bavaria (307 MW, 60 awards), followed by Baden-Württemberg (67 MW, 13 awards) and Brandenburg  (66 MW, 7 awards).

Broken down by category, most of the bids went to projects on arable lands or grasslands, comprising 49 bids with a total capacity of 310 MW, of which 239 MW went to projects in Bavaria (38 bids).

The category with the second highest overall volume of bids – hard shoulders on motorways or railways – received 32 bids with 152 MW.

The Bundesrat, the federal legislative council, had recently approved the law passed by the Bundestag (German Parliament) under which renewables must be at least 80% of the country’s power capacity mix by 2030. Germany must install 215 GW of solar capacity by 2030, with 22 GW of capacity additions per year under the new law.

In September this year, the European Commission approved three additional measures to support electricity production from renewable energy sources in Germany under EU State aid rules. Under these measures, all bids would be awarded at a price offered in case of an undersubscribed tender. Generators would receive a market premium on top of the market price due to the constantly evolving electricity prices.