Gas Network Access
Gas Market Area
The 2017 amendment to the Gas Network Access Ordinance (GasNZV) requires the gas transmission system operators (TSOs) to merge the current two market areas – NetConnect Germany (NCG) and GASPOOL – to form one single German market area by 1 April 2022 at the latest (see section 21 GasNZV). The merger is planned to take place on 1 October 2021.
The new market area will be called Trading Hub Europe (THE). Further information is available here.
Development of the gas market areas in Germany
Since October 2011, Germany's natural gas market has been divided into two dual-quality market areas or balancing zones: NetConnect Germany (NCG) and GASPOOL.
In January 2015, ACER published the updated Gas Target Model II (GTM II), which sets out criteria to assess the liquidity of wholesale natural gas markets and a process for regulators to review whether their market areas meet these criteria. Should market areas not meet the criteria, and should compliance not be foreseeable in the medium term, regulators should consider the proposed options for market integration.
Against this background, the Bundesnetzagentur commissioned management advisors Wagner, Elbling & Company to draw up a report on potential national and cross-border gas market integration options and their implications for the German gas market.
Gutachten BNetzA Marktintegration WECOM (pdf / 10 MB) (German language only)
Market dialogue on further market area development
Building on the report, the Bundesnetzagentur launched a market dialogue with the aim of assessing whether measures are needed to increase competition and liquidity in the German gas market and determining the form any such measures could take to develop and improve the German wholesale markets.
An open workshop took place on 3 November 2016.
Vorträge im Rahmen des Marktdialogs (zip / 3 MB)
The Bundesnetzagentur's conclusion, having evaluated the responses from the market players and other stakeholders, is that the gas market areas in Germany have developed well in recent years.
An analysis of the responses together with Bundesnetzagentur's conclusions from the market dialogue can be downloaded here:
Responses from the market players
Capacity for the transport of gas in the German market areas is offered by TSOs and booked by shippers. Shippers book only the entry and exit points (entry/exit model) and not the actual transport path. The TSOs manage the physical provision and the associated transport. (See Part 3 (sections 7 to 19) GasNZV.)
The network planning carried out by the TSOs, with the aim of being able to provide the appropriate capacity to meet demand, is monitored and supported by the Bundesnetzagentur in the network development planning process.
The Bundesnetzagentur's regulatory decisions on access to the gas supply networks are taken by Ruling Chamber 7.
Study on Capacity products
In 2013 the Bundesnetzagentur commissioned a "Study on Capacity Products in the German Gas Market — Stock-Taking and Further Development". The aim was to make a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the different capacity products in Germany and identify the products' common characteristics and differences. A qualitative analysis was also made of the capacity products in the Austrian, British and French gas markets. A further aim was to assess the different capacity products and develop proposals with a view to standardisation.
An English summary of the study on capacity products is available here:
Gas cooperation agreement
The cooperation agreement is an agreement between the operators of the gas supply networks located in Germany. The agreement regulates access to the gas supply networks and is revised and approved by the industry associations on a regular basis.
The gas industry has agreed on a uniform general supply contract for use of the networks within the scope of the gas cooperation agreement. The reduction in the number of market areas has also contributed to simplifying processes.
The current version of the cooperation agreement is available on the website of the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW): BDEW cooperation agreement web page (German)
Gas Transmission Network Access, International Affairs, Gas Network Development, Supply Security Monitoring, EU Affairs (Gas)
Bundesnetzagentur, Tulpenfeld 4, 53113 Bonn