Federal Cabinet Agrees Amendment of Gas Grid Access Ordinance

The draft amendment of the Gas Grid Access Ordinance was adopted by the Federal Cabinet yesterday. It is intended to create greater competition in the German gas market.  Federal Minister Rainer Brüderle even called it a sea change.

The three key elements of the amendment by which competition shall be enhanced are as follows:

Firstly, the number of market areas, i.e. the areas in which gas suppliers can operate freely, will be reduced from six to up to two by 2013. This will render nationwide offers made by new market entrants more attractive.

Secondly, access to limited transport capacities will be improved by auctioning free capacities in a non-discriminatory and transparent way.

Thirdly, new gas-fired power plants will be connected to the grid more easily: Following the model of the Ordinance for the Connection of Electrically Operated Power Plants to the Grid (Kraftwerksnetzanschlussverordnung) operators of gas-fired power plants will be entitled to reserve capacities for a maximum of three years for a reasonable fee.

The bill remains to be submitted to the Bundesrat (Federal Council) for consent pursuant to Article 80(2) Grundgesetz (Basic Law).

Source: Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology

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