Auctioned wind capacity declines despite market continuation during COVID-19

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The total capacity of wind energy auctioned during the second quarter of 2020 has declined compared to the same period in the previous year, according to a new study released by the Global Wind Energy Council.

The total capacity auctioned during Q2-2020 reached 2.17GW compared to 4GW during the same period last year.

Of the auctioned capacity in Q2-2020, up to 1.77GW was in Europe and 0.4GW in Asia-Pacific.

Delays and postponement in some of the key matured and developing markets as a result of the COVID-19 crisis resulted in the decline in capacity auctioned.

Many key markets for wind have continued their auctions as planned despite the COVID-19 crisis, which has been an important factor to secure the sustained growth of the industry.

In Europe, France held the fifth round of their wind auctions, which was oversubscribed. Italy, which aims to install 4.8GW of wind power capacity up to 2021, awarded 406MW (out of the auctioned 500MW) in RE Auction Round 2.

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In Asia, India awarded a unique 400MW Round-the-Clock auction to procure power from solar, wind, and hybrid projects to address renewable energy generation intermittency.

In China, no auctions were awarded during Q1 and Q2 2020. This is mainly due to two factors:

  • Firstly, the deadline for submitting parity project applications was postponed to the end of April 2020 due to COVID-19 and the approval was not announced until August 2020.
  • Secondly, provinces that have reached their 2020 onshore and offshore wind targets included in their thirteenth Five-year Plan will not be allowed to auction new capacity and approve any new wind project in 2020.  

In Latin America, auctions were much more impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic compared to other regions. Aside from Panama where the government announced it is working on a tender for renewable energy, which should be ready in December 2021, the remainder of the major markets in the region have either halted or postponed wind auctions.

Action on the side of policymakers will be crucial to ensure that projects can meet their deadlines in the near and long term future.

This will require governments to not only adapt the auctions that are currently scheduled but also to look ahead and extend project commission deadlines for auctions that have already taken place to provide security for the industry and create a healthy project pipeline.

GWEC and leading wind industry corporates and associations are calling on governments to put wind energy at the centre of their economic stimulus packages to support a Green Recovery from COVID-19.

Learn more about the report.

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