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Wind Energy Science The interactive open-access journal of the European Academy of Wind Energy
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  10 Mar 2020

10 Mar 2020

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal WES.

Future Economic Perspective and Potential Revenue of Non-Subsidized Wind Turbines in Germany

Lucas Blickwedel, Freia Harzendorf, Ralf Schelenz, and Georg Jacobs Lucas Blickwedel et al.
  • Chair for Wind Power Drives, RWTH-Aachen University, Aachen, Germany

Abstract. Thanks to the German Renewable Energy Act todays wind turbine operator are dealing with low risk on the revenue side in Germany. Fixed feed-in compensation ensures planning security and high system utilisation. Anyhow, the level of financial support is being reduced consecutively. Therefore, tomorrow’s plant operators have to trade self-sufficiently on European electricity markets hence generate revenue only by marketing electricity. Against the background of uncertain future market developments as well as stagnation in the expansion of renewable energies in Germany, it is of interest to estimate future revenue potentials of those non-subsidized wind turbines. This way investment risks can be reduced and development goals for tomorrow’s wind turbine technology can be deduced. To address this topic, a model has been developed using a modified merit-order approach to forecast long-term day-ahead prices on European electricity markets at an hourly resolution. The model is solely based on open access data. The results show how changes in the German power generation landscape like dismantling of coal and nuclear power plants as well as different emission prices impact the wind turbines potential revenue. A scenario analysis highlights that most of today’s wind turbines are not able to yield financial profit over their lifetime without guaranteed subsidies in Germany. This underlines an urgent need for technical development and new business models. Possible business models could be Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) for which the model results can be used for setting and negotiating appropriate terms, such as an energy price schedule or penalties. Moreover, the results can be used as input for investment calculation and analysis. Hence, the given forecasting model can help to reduce risks on revenue side for plant operators and finally support the expansion of wind energy as a whole.

Lucas Blickwedel et al.

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Lucas Blickwedel et al.

Lucas Blickwedel et al.


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Latest update: 02 Dec 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Revenues from the operation of wind turbines in Germany will be subject to risk in the future due to the expiration of government subsidies. Alternative marketing concepts are mostly based on stock market prices. Therefore, the long-term revenue potential of wind turbines on electricity exchange markets was estimated with a forecast model and open source data. The results can be used to derive requirements for cost engineering or future policies and finally reduce risks on the revenue side.
Revenues from the operation of wind turbines in Germany will be subject to risk in the future...