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Recent examples of “boom” and “bust” in the allocation of offshore wind projects have invited comparisons to auctions for mobile spectrum in the 3G era. In this article, Senior Managing Director Richard Marsden and Director Dominik Huebler examine lessons learned from the comparisons of these offshore wind project allocations with 3G-era spectrum awards. The authors explain that, in such an environment, bidders should be cautious about the potential for winner’s curse. They also assert it may be anticipated that some projects will fail, and some winners will try to renegotiate terms. A further lesson from the spectrum world is that complexity in award design may not be salvation.

This article combines NERA’s expertise in mobile spectrum auctions and offshore wind auctions.