German cabinet issues decree for cross-border wind/solar auctions

The German cabinet has released on Wednesday the decree for the future cross-border wind/solar auctions. The auctions were recommended by the EU Directorate-General for Competition (DG COMP), when it approved the country’s new renewable energy law EEG 2017.

The EU authorities imposed that at least 5% of the newly renewable energy installed capacity per year in Germany, which corresponds to about 300 MW, must be eventually open to developers from other EU neighbor countries through auction mechanisms.

In the cross-border Danish-German pilot solar auction, which was held in 2016, all selected projects were assigned to Danish developers. The five bids won with a surcharge tariff of 5.38 euro cents/kWh, which is two cents below the previous national tender held in Germany for ground-mounted solar installations, which attracted winning bids of 7.25 euro cents/kWh in August.

The German Ministry of Economy (BMWi) said it has built on this experience and has provided an improve framework for the future auctions. The German solar sector said the previous bidding rules were not granting a fair competition, as in Denmark, for example, is easy to get a permit to build a solar plant on agricultural land, while in Germany this is prohibited by the law with the exception of the southern regions of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. At the time of the pilot cross-border auction,  the construction of ground-mounted solar installations on agricultural land was prohibited in all German regions.