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International experiences with tender procedures for renewable energy – A comparison of current developments in Brazil, France, Italy and South Africa

Benjamin Bayer, Dominik Schäuble and Michele Ferrari

No vf84r, OSF Preprints from Center for Open Science

Abstract: Tenders are a fast spreading instrument for the expansion of renewable energies. However, there is a need for current analysis of experiences and results as in many countries tenders were introduced only few years ago. The objective of this study is to provide an up-to-date comparison of tender results for wind power and photovoltaics in Brazil, France, Italy and South Africa. We analyze and discuss rates of completion, market concentration and auction prices, based on data and literature research as well as expert interviews. Data on project status shows that rates of on-schedule completion are well below 100% ranging between 14% in Brazil and 41% in South Africa (wind). However, final rates of completion of 100% are possible (South Africa). With exception of France current data suggests cancellation rates of less than 5%. A systematic connection between project cancellations and the instrument of tenders could not be identified. The market share of the five largest owners differs largely between the countries and ranges from 33% (Italy) to 70% (South Africa). Despite the high level in South Africa, the significant oversubscription of tender volumes suggests that free price formation likely was not constrained. Nevertheless, small actors (<50 MW total capacity) are rare in Brazil and South Africa. For Italy their share cannot be determined due to lack of disclosure obligations on ownership structure. In all countries except Brazil auction prices have continuously fallen by 33% (Italy, wind energy) to 76% (South Africa, photovoltaics). In Brazil, the auction price increased from auction round eight to 14 from 50% to 85% of the first auction price. However, auction prices are highly dependent on factors outside of the support scheme of tenders (e.g. interest rates), so that their evolution and level are not a suitable indicator to determine whether tenders lead to minimal support costs.

Date: 2016-12-15
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DOI: 10.31219/

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