Federal Network Agency Starts Consultation on Draft Gas Grid Development Plan 2013

The Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) has started the consultation on the draft gas grid development plan 2013 (NEP Gas 2013), giving interested parties the opportunity to submit comments until 21 Juni 2013.

1. Legal Background

Section 15 a para. 1 EnWG (German Energy Act) stipulates that the German gas transmission operators (TSOs) have to draw up a joint national gas grid development plan (NEP Gas) every year and submit it to BNetzA. NEP Gas has to contain all the measures and steps for an optimisation, enhancement and expansion of the gas grids that meet the demand and ensure the security of supply over the next ten years and are necessary for a safe and reliable operation of the grids. In particular, NEP Gas has to list all the gas grid expansion measures deemed necessary to be carried out within the next three years and a timetable for the execution of all grid expansion measures. In preparation for NEP Gas a so-called scenario framework has to be developed and approved by BNetzA, who did approve the scenario framework for NEP Gas 2013 in October 2012.

2. Gas NEP 2013

Based on the scenario framework, the seventeen German TSOs drafted Gas NEP 2013. It contains seven model scenarios, which are based on varying assumptions. The gas transmission operators identified one alternative that in their opinion reflects the macroeconomically most efficient path for gas grid expansion. It is based on grid modelling that includes new, intelligent, fixed capacities. New gas pipelines of 441 km and compressors with a capacity of 164 MW with an investment volume of roughly EUR 1.6 billion are necessary over the next ten years in this scenario, the gas transmission operators say.

The seven model scenarios represent an important change in comparison to NEP Gas 2012. Their purpose is to assess the impact of different transport capacity products on the scope and cost of grid expansion. Modelling included among other factors gas-fired power plants and storage facilities in planning, which shall have intelligent non-interruptible capacities. Besides modelling considered capacity allocation for downstream grids. The gas transmission operators also provided a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of the new capacity products. Due to the decreasing sources for low caloric gas (L-gas) the gas transmission operators listed specific grid areas suitable for a change to high caloric gas (H-gas) for the first time.

3.  Consultation Period

The Federal Network Agency invites all interested parties to comment on NEP Gas 2013 by using a detailed questionnaire provided by BNetzA. The draft NEP Gas 2013, the questionnaire and further information on events hosted by BNetzA regarding NEP Gas 2013 can be found here.

Following the consultation, BNetzA can demand amendments by the gas transmission operators.

Source: Federal Network Agency

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