Austria

Grid connection

The general framework conditions are regulated for the integration of biogas into the Austrian gas grid in the Austrian Gas Act (Gaswirtschaftsgesetz, GWG Federal Law Gazette I no. 107/2011).

Technical Realisation

Here are the technical realisation of grid connection listed: 

  • General Distribution System Conditions must be established by DSOs and controlled by Regulatory Commission of Energy Control

These are other Market Rules in Austria: 

  • - ÖVGW Directive G31 (gas quality specifications) and ÖVGW Directive G33 or G B220 (for further information click "requirements for gas quality")
  • - ÖVGW D G73/1, G73/2, G73/3, G73/4  These directives provide information on gas pressure regulation installations.
  • - Trade, Commerce and Industry Regulation Act (Gewerbeordnung, GewO)  This applies only for local biogas/biomethane networks under 0.5 bar.
  • - Pipeline Act  This act applies for local biogas/biomethane networks over 0.5 bar.or.

Cases for refusal of grid access

Here are some regulation describing a refusal of grid access.

  • The Austrian GWG requires the obligation of both contract partners to respect the Other Market Rules and must be, amongst others, included in the General Distribution System Conditions (GDSC). These Other Market Rules are established by the Regulatory Commission of Energie Control in collaboration with market participants.
  • In the Other Market Rules, the quality criteria of ÖVGW Directive G31 (2001) in chapter 6 has to be respected. If the quality specifications under the Other Market Rules Chapter 6 or the required transfer pressure are not adhered to, the distribution system operator has the right to deny the transfer of natural gas.
  • Access is generally denied for (upgraded) landfill gas. No biomethane upgraded from landfill gas is allowed to be injected. The rationale behind this restriction is the concern that biomethane from landfill sources might carry gas components that can harm natural gas infrastructure facilities or gas end consumers, and that current detectors and upgrading facilities are not good enough to detect or separate harmful impurities.

System usage fees (non-discrimination?)

The charges for the system use, such as connection, distribution and transport tariffs for DSO and TSO grids, are as following:

  • The connection to the gas grid is evaluated according to the technical possibilities of the network operator in conjunction with the distribution area manager.
  • Natural gas and biomethane are treated completely in the same way. Avoided grid operation costs are not considered, as for example in Germany. There are no incentives for grid operators to favour biomethane injectors in any way.
  • A possible financing of biomethane induced grid development through the system usage fee, such as is the case for the development of the Austrian gas network, is not currently provided for.
  • The financing of a grid extension via the system usage fee would only be possible if this measure were of public interest, which would have to be approved by Energie Control Austria case by case.

 

Connection cost burden sharing

So far, Austria harbours no cost burden sharing of capital or operational costs related to biomethane production and/or injection. The costs are borne completely by the biomethane upgrading and injection installations owners. There is no burden sharing with socialisation of costs by grid usage tariffs. 

Network extension

So far there has been no assessment of the need for a network extension. Though it is being discussed by some gas companies, because a possible financing of biomethane induced grid development through the system usage fee, such as is the case for the development of the Austrian gas network, is not currently provided for. Also the financing of a grid extension via the system usage fee would only be possible if this measure were of public interest, which would have to be approved by Energie Control Austria case by case.