Paradigm Shift in Germany's Renewable Energy Support Scheme: What Can We Expect from the Introduction of Auctioning?
"What does the change of system involve? Switching to tenders for German Renewable Energies Promotion” is the topic of the Climate Talk which took place on October 6, 2015. Cornelia Viertl (BMWi), Sabine Schmedding (BWE) and Fabian Wigand (Ecofys) opened the discussion at the event organized by the Ecologic Institute and the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP).
The promotion of renewable energy plants in the electricity sector is currently facing a regime change: After more than 15 years of funding through fixed feed-in-tariffs, tenders will be introduced in 2017 for the majority of renewable energy installations. In July 2015, the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs (BMWi) published key aspects of the planned reform and invited all stakeholders to comment on the proposals. Since the beginning of the year, the Federal Network Agency is carrying out pilot tenders for ground-mounted solar plants. Thus, some first experiences with the new instrument have been gained.
Despite this preparatory work, the planned system change still raises many questions. The introduction of tenders is meant to make the expansion of renewable energies more cost-efficient. At the same time, it is important to continue the ambitious expansion of renewables. Can this instrument meet these expectations? How important is it to differentiate between technologies and the size of the installations? What risks arise for the diversity of actors, which has so far been a defining aspect of the German energy transition? Which tender design is suitable for which technology and how do theory and practice differ?
These questions were discussed at the Climate Talk.