ACM takes important step in integration process towards a single European natural-gas market

From now on, the transmission capacity of the Dutch transmission system for natural gas will be more accessible. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has set conditions ensuring that access to transmission capacity will be fairer. Moreover, this capacity will be allocated better, which will result in transmission capacity being utilized better. This, in turn, will result in European natural-gas flows not being hindered unnecessarily at the border. With these amendments, ACM takes an important step in the process of further integrating the European market for natural gas.

Auctions lead to fairer access

As national transmission system operator for natural gas, GTS is from now on required to offer cross-border transmission capacity to the market at auctions. All interested market participants are thus able to take part in the auction under equal conditions. ACM is a strong proponent of auctions. Auctions make access to transmission capacity fairer than the current system of ‘first come, first serve’.

Improved allocation of transmission capacity

The new transmission conditions additionally improve the reallocation of transmission capacity on connections that experience shortages. If all available transmission capacity on an interconnection has been sold, GTS will, for example, have the option of selling additional transmission capacity. This is because, in practice, not all contracted capacity is fully utilized.

Implementation of European regulations

The conditions for natural gas that have now been set are an implementation of European regulations. The rules on capacity allocation through auctions and reallocation in situations of shortages are the first, concrete rules that come from the package of measures with which Europe wishes to promote the creation of single European markets for electricity and natural gas.  In 2014, many more European rules promoting further integration of gas and electricity markets will follow. These too will be implemented into national transmission conditions.