The share of renewables is growing rapidly in Germany, from 17 per cent in 2010 to approx. 32 per cent today. The state funding provided in recent years has given the energy transition a reliable foundation. What were previously niche technologies have become competitive market players. For this reason, the new auction model has three key goals:
1. Improving our ability to plan the energy transition: The “deployment corridors” agreed under the 2014 Renewable Energy Sources Act are to be adhered to. The auctions will make it possible to control the construction of installations in an efficient manner.
2. Introducing more competition: The auctions are to foster competition between plant operators – this will keep down the costs of expanding renewable energy. The main principle here is that funding for renewable power is to be limited to the amount that is needed to allow for the installations to be economically viable.
3. Ensuring a high level of diversity: From small cooperatives to large companies, the diversity of plant operators is to be maintained, and a level playing field is to be ensured. This is the intention behind the 750 kW de minimis threshold (150 kW in the case of biomass installations). In addition to this, the selected auction model is simple and transparent, which means that it accounts for the challenges of operators of smaller installations. Also, locally anchored citizens’ energy companies bidding in auctions for onshore wind funding will benefit from less restrictive rules.