Gasunie Deutschland is responsible for the management, operation and development of an extensive network of gas pipelines in northern Germany.
In 2012, Gasunie Deutschland transported 236 billion kWh (24.18 billion m3) gas. This is comparable to 2011 (239 billion kWh, 24.5 billion m3). From gas transport and related services, Gasunie Deutschland achieved a revenue in 2012 of € 240 million.
In 2012, the Transponder business model was successfully implemented. As a result, Gasunie Deutschland has become increasingly accountable for its financial results and has received more support. In this context, significant efforts were made to further increase the cost-efficiency of Gasunie Deutschland’s operations.
Expanding the system
Following improvements in the regulation for investments in Germany, whereby results are now more predictable, Gasunie Deutschland decided to invest in expanding its system in Germany in two ways.
The first expansion project involves connecting Nord Stream and NEL to the Gasunie Deutschland network. Despite a serious delay in obtaining the necessary licences and permits for NEL, we managed to put 25% of NEL’s capacity into use by temporarily integrating it into the transport systems of Ontras and Gasunie Deutschland. Gasunie Deutschland has arranged transport through NEL using a different TSO, Gasunie Ostseeanbindungsleitung (GOAL). GOAL received its licence to operate in time to enable it to offer its services on the market. In addition, a revenue cap and tariff regime were agreed with the German regulator.
A second expansion project involves expanding cross-border capacity towards Denmark and Sweden. This project has now been incorporated into the German Netzentwicklungsplan 2012 (NEP), which was approved by the German regulator in December 2012. This new capacity will be provided gradually to the market over the period 2014–2016.
The German regulator, BNetzA, has not yet taken a final decision on the expected revenue cap for Gasunie Deutschland for the second regulatory period (2013– 2017). Figures indicate that the activities of Gasunie Deutschland are highly efficient, providing a good basis for allowing the envisaged expansions of the system and a solid revenue.
Day-ahead capacity pilot
In the summer of 2012, in collaboration with Gasunie Transport Services (GTS), Gasunie Deutschland successfully carried out a pilot for booking cross-border day-ahead capacity between the Netherlands and Germany, in order to improve the connection between TTF and the Gaspool market area. The pilot was supported by the German internet-based capacity platform TRAC-X. During the implementation of the EU CAM network code, TRAC-X was legally converted into the PRISMA European Capacity Platform, with Gasunie Deutschland and GTS as founding members.
The European Third Energy Package requires TSOs to be certified. The German regulator BNetzA has granted Gasunie Deutschland a TSO certification which is dependent on a positive certification of GTS by the Dutch regulator, NMa. The TSO certification for GOAL is expected soon and will also depend on a positive GTS certification.
Together with the other German TSOs, Gasunie Deutschland carried out a cost-benefit analysis of further consolidation of the Gaspool and NCG market zones into a single German market. The analysis showed that such a merger would yield relatively few benefits, given the extra costs involved. The German regulator is currently discussing the analysis with market players and stakeholders.
As Germany’s Energiewende proceeds, it has become clear that gas-fired power stations will play an extremely important role in ensuring the security of supply on the electricity market. In December 2012, German energy legislation was amended to ensure that the security of supply measures being taken by the gas and electricity industries are better aligned. In addition, the commercial principles of cost allocation were established so that customers can switch from L gas to H gas quality. This has become necessary, because less L gas is being produced in Germany.
In 2012, Gasunie Deutschland also connected the biogas plant in Rosche (near Hamburg) to the transport system, making it easier for green gas to be added to the system. And finally, Gasunie Deutschland has been looking into the possibilities of injecting hydrogen from power-to-gas directly into the transport system for natural gas.