Gaspipeline; Source: picture alliance/dpa Enlarge

© picture alliance/dpa

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy today published a list of key principles for measures to improve the security of the gas supply.

Minister Gabriel said: "We want to use the key principles that have been presented today to further strengthen and improve upon the level of of gas supply security we have in Germany, which is already high. We are continuing to consistently strengthen the gas supply in a market-based manner. In this way, we are raising supply security in an effective manner using measures that are cost-effective and flexible. This serves the interests of households and industrial customers alike."

In order to assess the current state of supply security in Germany, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has commissioned an independent study to be undertaken and has also engaged in an extensive assessment and discussion process with the Federal Network Agency, the Länder, and all of the relevant market participants. The results of this assessment show that the German gas market is in a strong position. In order to maintain the high level of supply security, it is crucial that Germany has a functioning balancing energy market that can correct imbalances in the gas distribution system. The balancing energy market is to be strengthened by introducing two specific measures:

  • Firstly, the Market Area Managers (MAMs) will be able to enter into contracts for a higher volume of existing supply products, should any abnormal regional bottlenecks occur. Supply products are used to create a reserve which is then tapped when the amount of balancing energy required by the MAMs can no longer be covered by the regular short-term balancing energy market alone.
  • Secondly, a new balancing energy product is to be created that enables large numbers of industrial customers to voluntarily reduce their gas demand (demand-side management) in order to help safeguard security of supply.

The two measures are now being elaborated and implemented by the Federal Network Agency, the MAMs, and the relevant market players. This will not require any legislative changes to be made.

To find out more about current German energy policy, please consult our fortnightly Newsletter "Energiewende direkt".