At its meeting today, the Federal Cabinet adopted the first draft regarding amendments to the Gas Network Access Ordinance. The amending ordinance will optimise the gas network access system and adapt it to the energy challenges that have changed in recent years.

The draft ordinance stipulates that transmission system operators will in the future have to offer within-day capacities to all transport customers. So far, this service has been voluntary. This is supposed to increase flexibility on the gas markets. In addition, the two existing German gas market areas are to be merged as of 1 April 2022.

State Secretary Baake commented: “By adopting today the amendment to the Gas Network Access Ordinance, we build on the developments in the energy industry that had been introduced in Europe and in Germany over the last couple of years. The consolidation of the existing German market areas bundles and increases liquidity and improves supply security on the German gas market. Ultimately, this will benefit all consumers in Germany. This regulation prepares Germany for future developments on the European market, that could potentially also include a market area outside Germany. It also prevents domestic discrimination.”

Further amendments include auction procedures for capacities, the determination of long-term capacity requirements and adjustments to directly applicable European law. This should simplify the application of the Ordinance.

The Bundesrat will need to approve the amendment to the Gas Network Access Ordinance before it can enter into force. The ordinance draft (in German) is available here (PDF: 189 KB).