Germany

Natural gas market and infrastructure

Figur: German transmission grid (source: bmwi.de)

Relevance regarding the energy supply system
Natural gas is of growing significance for the energy supply of Germany. The net consumption in 2009 was around 2214.0 PJ which was about 25.4% of total final energy consumption. Merely 13% of Germany’s total gas demand is covered by national reserves. Moreover, gas is imported from The Netherlands (20 %), Norway (29 %), and Russia (32 %) as well as minor amounts from Denmark and UK.

Gas grid infrastructure data
Germany has a well developed pipeline network all over the country with a total length of 436,204 km. 116,927 km belong to the high pressure grid, 177,456 km to medium pressure and 141,821 km to the low pressure grid. The most important TSOs are Eon Gastransport, Gasunie and Wingas. The largest natural gas suppliers are Eon Ruhrgas, RWE Energy, VNG, Exxon Mobil and Shell. The natural gas market is under the supervision of Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur / BNetzA). The Agency is in charge of electricity, gas and telecommunication network, for post and railway system and promotes the liberalisation in these markets.

CNG infrastructure data
Up to now natural gas still plays a rather small role in the transportation sector. As of today, roughly 90,000 (ca. 0.2 % of the total cars in Germany) are powered by natural gas. Although the number of CNG refuelling stations has increased to 900 over the recent years, the infrastructure is still considered not to be dense enough by the car consumers. In contrast service station operators complain about the poor exploitation of gas. However, there are several initiatives aiming at increasing the share of natural gas in transport sector.