Pilot auction for ground-mounted PV installations; Source: BMWi/Holger Vonderlind

© BMWi/Holger Vonderlind

The aim of the pilot auction for ground-mounted PV installations is to achieve the expansion targets for renewables in a cost-efficient manner. The pilot auction contributes to the continuous increase in ground-mounted PV installations. It maintains stakeholder diversity and public acceptance of the projects.

Auctions for other types of renewable energy can also benefit from the experience gathered in the pilot auction. The auction has been designed to be as simple, transparent and comprehensible as possible - so that as many different investors as possible, including citizens’ energy projects and energy cooperatives, can take part.

Five auction rounds have successfully taken place so far. More competition and a continually falling price level show that the instrument works. In the first auction round in April 2015, the average award level amounted to 9.17ct/kWh. It fell steadily to 8.48 ct/kWh in the 2nd auction round, 8.00 ct/kWh in the 3rd auction round, 7.41 ct/kWh in the 4th auction round and 7.25 ct/kWh in the 5th auction round in August 2016.

In 2016 and 2017, the dates for further auction rounds will be published every 4 months. Bidders that did not win in the preceding auction rounds can try again in the forthcoming rounds. The specific conditions and forms for the forthcoming rounds can usually be obtained eight weeks prior to the bidding deadline on the website of the Federal Network Agency.

At the beginning of 2016, the Federal Network Agency published a comprehensive report on the results of the pilot auctions that took place in 2015.

You can also find the results of the auction rounds that took place in April and August 2016 on the website of the Federal Network Agency.

Some of the auctions for renewable energies are to be opened for neighbouring countries, and the support systems are to be harmonised. An agreement on the reciprocal opening of auctions for ground-mounted PV installations was signed by Germany and Denmark on 20 July 2016.

Legal basis for the pilot auction

The Ground-mounted PV Auction Ordinance implements the pilot auction for ground-mounted photovoltaic installations provided for both in the coalition agreement and in the amendment to the Renewable Energy Sources Act. It was adopted by the cabinet on 28 January 2015 and published in the Federal Law Gazette on 11 February 2015.

At the same time, there is a large need for regulation, since it must be ensured that the procedure is equitable and that the conflicting interests are appropriately balanced. FAQs regarding the Ground-mounted PV Auction Ordinance can be found here.

On 13 January 2016, the federal government submitted the report on the experience with the pilot auction for ground-mounted photovoltaic installations on the basis of Section 99 of the 2014 Renewable Energy Sources Act. The report shows that the auction was successful. In all three rounds, the intensity of competiton was high, the award price fell from one bidding round to the next, and small-scale bidders and projects also won auction rounds.

The Federal Network Agency has also evaluated the pilot auction for the funding of ground-mounted PV installations. This evaluation report has been attached to the report on auctions. You can download the report here.