Federal Network Agency: New Gas Capacity Management Rules

In a decision issued last week, the Federal Network Agency, the German grid regulator, set new rules concerning gas grid capacity management. The decision is aimed at improving access to the gas transmission network. The new rules complement and unify already existing regulations.

The Agency had noticed that capacities were fully booked on a long-term basis, but that the physical reality on the networks did not correspond to the full capacity. It considered this to prevent market excess of new competitors.

As a consequence, the Agency decided to issue new rules, after extensive consultation with the industry. The 110 page decision covers numerous aspects, including the following issues:

  • To date gas traders have to indicate exactly through which pipeline gas is transmitted when leaving one market area and entering another. In the future, transmission capacities can be booked indicating only the necessary transmission from one market area to another. This shall facilitate the sale of gas across market borders and improve competition.
  • The new decision shall clarify and unify the existing regime regarding the auctioning of gas capacities.
  • Finally, a framework for making available capacities that were booked but are physically not needed has been created in order to allow network access for a greater number of customers. In the future, capacities which are physically not needed shall be made available at the latest on a “day ahead” basis.

“We want to advance not only the national, but also the international integration of the markets. Therefore we have acted with a view to the European level when amending our capacity management. We want to facilitate trade between the international wholesale markets for gas, improve competition within Germany and promote the integration of the European internal market”, Matthias Kurth, president of the Federal Network Agency, commented.

Source: Federal Network Agency

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