Berlin has opted to move away from renewables feed in tariffs as part of an overall plan approved by the Bundestag, which also entails using competitive auctions and caps on deployment of wind energy.

The parliament agreed on Friday to cap the annual auctions for onshore wind at 2.8 GW and offer fluctuating tenders for offshore wind in an effort to impose greater cost controls on the country’s Energiewende.
Business Green reports that the limit for onshore wind is expected to increase after 2020 to 2.9 GW a year, while the offshore cap – which will apply between 2021 and 2030 – will vary from year to year in an effort to ensure the country reaches its 15 GW wind energy target in the next 15 years.

Renewables advocates believe the reforms, set to come into effect in January 2017, represent a backward step.

“Today’s reform above all serves to safeguard fossil fuels and throttle the pace of the energy transformation,” Hermann Falk, head of the German Renewable Energy Association, toldĀ the Wall Street Journal.

Germany accounted for 44 per cent of all wind installations in Europe last year, installing 3.7 GW and 2.3 GW of onshore and offshore wind respectively.

Giles Dickson, chief executive of trade body WindEurope, said the shift from feed-in tariffs to tenders is a trend being seen across Europe as member states bring their support schemes into line with EU state aid guidelines.

“For onshore wind, the reforms set out clear volumes for wind energy deployment toward 2020 and beyond,” said Dickson in a statement. “This gives the industry a degree of certainty on investments and the opportunity to plan into the future. The same cannot be said for offshore where there is a lack of stability in the volumes.”