A few large investors, who dominated German wind auctions in 2017, are threatening the feasibility of local community wind projects highlighting the need for major regulatory changes, World Wind Energy Association (WWEA) said in a statement Wednesday.
According to the statement, local community wind projects in Germany were the main drivers of the wind sector, but are now at risk.
"The rules which were set up by the German government to protect community energy investors have failed to achieve this goal," the statement read.
Stefan Gsanger, WWEA secretary general, said that Germany has been a pioneer and an example of how community energy can make local citizens benefit ecologically and economically from the shift towards renewable energy.
"In order to continue this role model, the new German government must act quickly: There must be an adequate community energy definition in place, and smaller projects must be exempt from auctions," he warned.
In addition, WWEA warns that the North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW State) government has created additional challenges that may lead to job losses and the general shrinking of wind investments in the state.
As a result, the WWEA said the onshore wind auctions introduced in Germany in 2017 are favoring large investors and are about to squeeze out small and community-based investors, which up to now were the main drivers of the German wind market.
Even the amendments to the auction scheme as introduced for 2018 are not expected to stop the traditional community energy actors from being the main losers, the WWEA affirmed.
The association underlined that with the current auctions, a system has been set up in which success is determined by market power and the ability to speculate.
By Gulsen Cagatay