German government releases draft of future joint auctions for solar and wind

The German cabinet has released on Wednesday an omnibus bill containing the draft of a new action mechanism for wind and solar power projects. Under this new mechanism, wind and solar will compete in tenders for the first time.

The first pilot auctions are expected to start in 2018 and to run through 2020. Through these tenders the German government hopes to allocate approximately 400 MW of combined wind and solar capacity each year.

Rainer Baake, secretary of state at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), said that the government has held separate auctions to date for solar and wind, in accordance with the country’s new renewable energy law (EEG), but that auctions combining both technologies must be tested.

The German solar association BSW-Solar has criticized the new auction, claiming that during the initial period wind power is expected to have a clear advantage. The association added that the new mechanism does not provide a level playing field, and that it will not ensure a balanced mix of solar and wind. According to BSW-Solar, these two technologies must be able to develop their full potential without a direct competition, which would slow down their development.