Ground-mounted PV installations; Source: BMWi/Holger Vonderlind

© BMWi/Holger Vonderlind

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy today presented its key-points paper on partially opening up pilot auctions for ground-mounted PV installations to bidders from other European Member States in the context of Germany’s Renewable Energy Sources Act. An ordinance is to be adopted in order for these key points to be implemented.

State Secretary Baake said: “With this concept for opening up a certain proportion of the auctions for ground-mounted PV installations, we are sending an important signal to our European neighbours, highlighting our willingness to work together more closely when it comes to funding renewable energy, to the benefit of both sides. Thus, this concept is underscoring the idea that the energy transition be consistently oriented towards Europe as laid down in Germany’s Electricity Market Act.”

The 2014 version of Germany’s Renewable Energy Sources Act 2014 was declared by the European Commission as being compatible with EU state-aid rules; the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the European Commission agreed that from 2017 onwards, auctions for 5 per cent of new renewables capacity installed each year will be opened up to other European Member States. By opening up a certain percentage of its pilot auctions, Germany is implementing the cooperation mechanisms set out in the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive. This is to also help implement the energy transition across Europe, and increasingly harmonise national funding systems for renewable energy. Opening up pilot auctions this year is a first step that is to help Germany gain some first experience with using this new instrument.

The Federal government is currently drawing up the ‘Ordinance for opening up ground-mounted PV auctions to other European Member States’ which will set out rules for opening up auctions for ground-mounted PV installations. The ordinance is to enter into force before the end of the second quarter of 2016. This year, two pilot auctions are to be held in cooperation with two partner countries; one with Denmark, and the other with Luxembourg. This is subject to the successful conclusion of the negotiations currently under way between the partner countries.

Section 2 (6) of the 2014 Renewable Energy Sources Act and the corresponding authorisation to issue ordinances specified in section 88 (2-4) of the 2014 Renewable Energy Sources Act set out three conditions for funding renewable electricity from other countries:

  1. Germany and its partner country must conclude an agreement under international law within the meaning of the cooperation mechanisms laid down in the Renewable Energy Directive.
  2. Cooperation shall be based on the principle of reciprocity. This means that when Germany opens up its auctions to bidders who plan to build renewables installations abroad, the partner country will also open up its auctions to bidders who plan to build installations in Germany.
  3. The electricity from installations that have been awarded funding must lead to a tangible impact on the German electricity market (‘actual import’ of electricity).

Based on the lessons learned from implementing the concept for opening up pilot auctions for ground-mounted PV installations, auctions for other renewables technologies are to be opened up from 2017 onwards.

More information on the key-points paper on ‘opening up pilot auctions for ground-mounted PV installations to bidders from other European Member States in the context of Germany’s Renewable Energy Sources Act’ can be found here.