Germany: PV tender extended to rooftops above 1 MW

German administrators continue to grapple with the future of its renewable energy landscape, with the latest document pushing forward the concept of tenders for project development. Germany’s first large scale solar tender, held earlier this year, will see 25 PV power plants with a combined capacity of around 150 MW developed. The average successful tenders had a capacity of 6.3 MW, and will receive a feed-in rate of €0.0917.

A hearing by Germany’s BMWi continued the process today, delivering a proposal as to how to extend the tender process and take it forward. The BMWi delivered a proposal paper in Berlin today, in which it outlines the intention to hold separate tenders for various renewable technologies and applications. Large commercial solar rooftops look set to have their own tender under the new proposal.

The BMWi "key points" paper highlighted its goal as being to "determine the level of financial support for electricity from renewable sources, from 2016, in a competitive manner."

Tenders under the program are defined by the BMWi as being "an objective, transparent and non-biased procedure to determine the level of financial support under competitive terms."

"We have already laid the foundations for such a move with our EEG 2014 and the first tendering rounds for ground-mounted PV has already begun this year," said Rainer Baake, secretary of state for the BMWi.

Three objectives are being pursued by the key notes paper.

  • The development corridor for renewable energy should be kept.
  • Competition should be encouraged with tenders and the costs sunk.
  • The mix of stakeholders should be kept.

To achieve these objectives, distinctions will be made amongst the different renewable technologies. "A tender system for large offshore wind farms should be different that that for PV systems on buildings," BMWi explained. The key notes paper focuses on technologies that will contribute the most towards the EEG2014 developmental goals, namely wind power on land and at sea as well as PV.

The paper states that for PV, the tenders for the ground-mounted systems should be evaluated and adjusted based on the results of previous rounds. In the future PV systems on brownfields, like landfill depots and sealed surfaces, with a capacity of more than 1 MW will also fall into this "ground-mounted" category.

Rooftop systems up to 1MW to be excluded

A separate tender for large rooftops with more than 1 MW is also being planned. Rooftop PV systems with less than 1 MW capacity will continue to be remunerated according to the EEG2014. They are exempted from the tenders process as the key

notes paper states. Here the ministry takes into account the importance of self-consumption.

The pricing rule will be set as "pay-as-bid". In the second tender round for ground-mounted PV systems, which has a deadline of August 1, a "uniform pricing" procedure will be tested. An ambitious maximum price which may not be outbid is also set to come according to the paper.

After a period of relative inactivity in the PV power plant market in Germany, the tender proposal is there should be three to four tender rounds annually. This is to allow continuous project development. On the contrary rooftop installations ought to be realized more quickly, according to when contracts are awarded, namely a period of nine to twelve months. For ground-mounted the period is two years.

Translated by Shamsiah Ali Oetinger. Edited by Jonathan Gifford.