Prices fall below 4-cent-per-kWh mark at German solar auction

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Bavarian solar projects dominated the German tender as they have in prior auctions, reaping 75% of all contracts on offer. Image credit: Caleb Stokes / Unsplash

Solar players have notched yet another solid performance at a state tender in Germany, tabling bids five times the size and scoring record-low prices when contracts were awarded this month.

This week, Germany’s Federal Network Agency (FNA) published the results of the country’s latest PV-only tender, which awarded surcharges to 100.554MW split between 18 winning projects.

The tender of 1 February – open to 750kW-to-10MW projects – was designed with a 100MW size but was highly oversubscribed, triggering 493MW in applications across 98 bidders.

The tariffs that were then awarded to the 18 winners lay in the €0.0355-0.0521/kWh (US$0.038-0.056/kWh) range, resulting in an average PV price of €0.0501/kWh (US$0.054/kWh).

For German solar, the prices below 4 euro cents per kWh mark a sizeable gain on the cheapest tariffs seen at the prior PV tenders, such as 4.59 cents (October 2019) and 4.7 cents (December 2019).

Upbeat solar outgrows corset of tender sizes

FNA's statement this week identified the February PV auction winners, from DSW Solar to E.ON, EnBW, ENERPARC, IBC Solar and others. Bavarian projects reaped 75% of all contracts.

According to the German regulator, however, information on individual tariffs (including the project proposing prices of €0.0355/kWh) will not be released until 26 February.

The tabling in February of solar bids five times what was on offer contrasts with the undersubscription witnessed with a wind-only tender, also held in Germany this month.

The wind auction, focusing on onshore projects, had put forward 900MW in capacity but only attracted 527MW of project bids. Average tariffs ran at €0.0618/kWh (US$0.066/kWh).

The PV-wind disparity has become a recurring feature of German renewable tenders, sparking a campaign for solar tenders to be increased as the country works towards a 98GW-by-2030 PV target.

The prospects and challenges of solar's new era in Germany and the rest of Europe will take centre stage at Large Scale Solar Europe 2020 (Lisbon, on 31 March-1 April 2020).

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