Germany has launched a 7-GW offshore wind tender for projects in the North and Baltic Seas with controversial negative bidding. Commissioning of the wind farms is scheduled for 2030.
Three 2-GW sites are in the North Sea, and one 1-GW site is in the Baltic. The North Sea sites are approximately 120 km off Helgoland, and the Baltic Sea site is about 25 km off the island of Rügen.
"The tenders are an important step towards achieving the offshore expansion target of 30 GW by 2030," said Klaus Müller, president of the Federal Network Agency, or Bundesnetzagentur. “The capacity tendered today exceeds the previous annual auction volumes for offshore wind energy many times over."
Preliminary environmental investigations of the sites have not yet been conducted and bidders must agree to do that. Winning bids will also be those that need least state support, said the agency. Bids must be received by 1 June 2023.
The auction will use a controversial ‘dynamic’ bidding strategy whereby bids can be as low as zero cents per kilowatt-hour. If multiple bids come in at that level, the bidder with the greatest “willingness to pay” will win. That is companies may pay for the right to develop a new wind farm.
WindEurope has previously slammed such negative bidding as bad for consumers and bad for the supply chain.