The Renewable Energy Act 2017 (EEG 2017) introduces a tendering system for most renewable energy (RE) sources. Where, under the previous EEG 2014, participation in tariff auctions was only compulsory for ground mounted photovoltaic systems, now onshore wind and, under a newly introduced Offshore Wind Act (WindSeeG), offshore wind projects have to take part in such auctions. To receive the market premium (Marktprämie) from the grid operator, project developers must now bid in technology-specific auctions for certain tender volumes.
Whilst the introduction of auctions is a fundamental change to the support scheme, several other elements of the EEG remain unchanged. In particular, the priority of RE sources regarding connection and access to the public grid remains unchanged.
The market premium is still paid for 20 years, but the amount of the market premium depends on the awarded amount following a successful bid. The direct marketing of energy (Direktvermarktung) which has been a feature of the RE regime since the introduction of the Renewable Energy Act in 2009 remains mandatory. RE sources must be sold on the spot market in order for the successful bidder to be able to claim remuneration. The remuneration of a RE plant operator is therefore twofold: it receives the market premium from the grid operator and also it receives the agreed purchase price from the direct marketing counterparty.