Germany oversubscribed innovation auction awards 408MW of solar-plus-storage

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All the bidding projects from Germany’s latest innovative auction were a combination of solar with energy storage. Image: Convergent Energy + Power.

Germany’s latest innovation auction has awarded contracts to 32 solar-plus-storage projects with a cumulative capacity of 408MW.

The German Federal Network Agency, the Bundesnetzagentur, announced the results of its latest innovation tender which ended up being oversubscribed with a total of 53 bids and 779MW of capacity received, nearly double the 400MW limit set for the auction.

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This is the second innovative auction held this year in Germany with the previous one ending with a completely different fate as only three projects ended up accepted with a combined capacity of 83.5MW, despite 400MW of capacity auctioned.

“Following two weak auctions, the innovation auctions have regained momentum. The fact that this auction was nearly twice oversubscribed shows what kind of a dynamic renewables can have. The aim now is to maintain the current level of project development,” said Klaus Müller, president of the Bundesnetzagentur.

The contracts provide an additional premium in €/kWh to winning projects for energy discharged to the market.

Prices for the successful bids range from €0.0776/kWh to €0.0878 ct/kWh with an average price of €0.0833/kWh (US$8.75ct/kWh). Both the average price and the maximum value ended up above the previously held solar farm auction in July.

Bavaria ended up with more than half of the capacity awarded – with 258MW and 19 winning bids – among all the regions, while 175MW of capacity, across 21 projects, are planned on 500-metre-long shoulder strips of motorways and railway lines.

Launched in 2020, the innovation tender seeks to combine several renewable resources, however as shown in the latest auction all bids submitted have been for the combination of solar PV with energy storage.

Earlier rounds held in 2021 showed similar results with only solar PV and energy storage projects awarded, as covered by our sister site Energy-storage.news.

Moreover, in order to raise interest in its renewable tenders, the Bundesnetzagentur increased the price cap at the beginning of the year for several auctions, including ground-mounted – with an increase from €0.059/kWh (US$0.064) in 2022 to €0.0735/kWh (US$0.08) – and rooftop solar to €0.1125/kWh (US$0.12).

Since the beginning of this year, Germany has accelerated its push towards renewables, not just at the downstream level with dedicated tenders but also on the upstream front as it launched an expression of interest call – in June 2023 – for 10GW of solar manufacturing capacity across the entire value chain and with at least 2GW of capacity for modules alone.

This in itself has spurred interest from several companies, including a German consortium that intends to invest €2 billion in vertically integrated PV manufacturing within 24 months and three locations or US cadmium telluride thin-film module manufacturer First Solar, among others.

The next innovation auction is scheduled for 1 May 2024 (the date when the bid process will be closed).

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