German renewables PPA market volume quadrupled in 2023

Move On Energy has powered Europe's largest solar PV plant.
The Witznitz Energy Park (pictured above), Europe’s largest solar PV park, secured a 600MW PPA with oil giant Shell in September 2023. Image: Move On Energy via LinkedIn.

Renewable power purchase agreements (PPAs) market volumes in Germany nearly quadrupled in 2023, increasing by 323% over 2022, according to the German Energy Agency (dena).

Between 2019 and 2022, the combined capacity for offtake between the different technologies reached a maximum of 1.1GW in 2021 and decreased to 0.9GW in 2022, while in 2023 it registered 3.6GW of capacity. Number-wise, PPAs nearly doubled year-on-year, with 42 PPAs signed in 2023 versus 23 in 2022.

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Nearly half of the volume registered in 2023 came from solar PV with 1.8GW and a high interest from customers in securing solar PPAs.

Among the largest offtake agreements signed in 2023, was a 600MW PPA between oil giant Shell and German real estate company Hansainvest Real Assets. The project recently started commercial operations and is currently the largest European solar PV park online.

In 2023, Germany represented the second-largest PPA market in Europe after Spain.

Corporate PPAs – 33 CPPAs for 9 utility PPAs – have been the main driver for the market growth, due to the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) coming into force in January 2023. The CSRD increased the number of companies in Germany – from 500 to 15,000 – who were required to report on environmental, social and governance aspects (ESG) and increased the pressure to find solutions to decarbonise their operations.

In terms of sectors, information technology – in particular data centres – has led CPPAs with nearly 30% of the total, followed by raw materials and telecommunications. The top three alone accounted for over half of the PPA volume of offtakes last year in Germany.

According to the report, the structure of solar PPAs signed in 2023 often had a 10-year term and a pay-as-produced (PaP) structure.

Corinna Enders, chairwoman of the Board of Directors at dena, said: “The figures impressively show the importance of PPA for price hedging and for building sustainable business models. PPAs must also play an important role in the future electricity market in order to further stimulate the competitive expansion of renewable energy. A reliable political framework for PPA’s business development is of central importance.”

Germany’s increased appetite for PPAs in 2023, and in particular solar PV ones, relates to the growth of solar PPAs inked in Europe last year. Solar offtakes more than doubled in 2023 compared to 2022, from 4.6GW to 10.6GW.

European solar offtake agreements passed 10GW of capacity in 2023. Chart: JP Casey for PV Tech.
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