Policy makers may have an interest in promoting certain technical specifications in an auction, be it technology-specific or technology-neutral. Such specifications may aim to improve environmental impact, innovation impact, or system integration.

Examples for desired technical specifications might include efficient CHP technology in a biomass auction, innovative technologies such as thin-film in a PV auction, certain environmental standards in a hydro power auction, or technical prerequisites for system integration.

Conceptually, treating certain technical specifications separately is no different from differentiating between RES technologies (such as onshore wind, hydro, PV, etc.). Similar pros and cons apply as for technology-neutral vs. –specific support scheme designs: Providing favourable treatment for a certain technological design is a political decision, as the favoured technology is protected from free competition with other, potentially lower-cost options.

This may lead to higher support costs in the short term. On the other hand, the dynamic efficiency of the support scheme can be increased by favouring higher-cost but promising technology segments. for an individual technology segment runs the risk of insufficient competition within that segment. This risk will be more significant for smaller and more specialised technology segments.

In order to include certain technology characteristics as a secondary objective in your auction, you can implement the following design elements:

1) Separate auctions for separate technology classes

Support for the favoured installations type is allocated in a separate auction, in which only installations of this type participate. The principle is thus the same as for auctions limited to a certain technology, for instance PV or hydro.

This measure is of course not applicable if a policy maker wishes multi-technology auctions, in which not only technology classes but whole technologies compete in one single auction.

2) Contingents for technologies with certain specifications

A minimum contingent is defined for installations complying with a certain technical specification.

3) Criterion in auction to favour desired technical specification

The auction is held as a multi-criteria auction in which compliance with the desired technical specification increases the overall score of a bidder.

4) Boni for desired technical specifications

Bidders submit a price offer and receive a bonus if they also comply with the technical specification.