The legal basis for the Bundesnetzagentur's activities in the energy sector is provided by the Energy Act (EnWG) and the Grid Expansion Acceleration Act (NABEG).
Energy regulation means the supervision of operators of energy supply networks ("network operators") by the Bundesnetzagentur and the federal state regulatory bodies. The energy supply network is needed both by energy suppliers ("network users") to supply customers and by power plant operators to feed in electricity. Since there is always only one network operator in each network area, operators might be able to use their monopoly position to favour or discriminate against certain network users. It is therefore the regulatory bodies' task to ensure that all network users can access and use the energy supply network on a non-discriminatory basis.
The aim of energy regulation is to create conditions for increased competition in the markets for energy generation, trade and supply. The Bundesnetzagentur makes a key contribution by, amongst other things,
- approving network charges for gas and electricity transit,
- preventing or removing obstacles in access to energy supply networks for suppliers and consumers,
- standardising processes for switching supplier, and
- improving the conditions for connecting new power plants to the grid.
Since 2011 we have also taken on various tasks in connection with expanding the electricity grid infrastructure. The reason: Germany's electricity networks, as they are now, are only partially equipped to transport large volumes of renewable energy. However, since wind and solar energy are playing an increasingly important role, more extra-high voltage lines could be necessary in the near future. With NABEG the lawmakers have therefore tasked us with ensuring more efficient licensing procedures and hence accelerated expansion of the grid.
Find out more about grid expansion on www.netzausbau.de/english.