Report on the situation on the Austrian flexibility and storage market

In line with Directive 2009/73/EC and its transposition into Austrian law by way of the Gaswirtschaftsgesetz (Natural Gas Act) 2011, the regulatory authority must, pursuant to section 98(2) Natural Gas Act 2011, draw up a report on the situation on the Austrian flexibility and storage market. On the basis of this report, the Federal Minister of Science, Research and Economy may issue an ordinance pursuant to section 98(1) Natural Gas Act 2011 to introduce regulated access to natural gas storage facilities instead of the current negotiated access regime. Section 98(3) Natural Gas Act 2011 requires the regulator to draw up such a report at least every three years.

This is the background against which the report at hand re-evaluates the relevant parameters: pursuant to section 98(2) Natural Gas Act 2011, the regulatory authority must assess the level of competition on the storage market by referencing price comparisons, the range of products on offer and their use, the market concentration (supply and demand side) with consideration of the availability of alternative sources of flexibility, and the availability of storage capacity compared to demand for it.
To honor the storage system operators’ right to comment on the report, they were consulted before the report was issued, in July 2015. Comments were taken into account. Pursuant to section 98(3) Natural Gas Act 2011, we herewith present the final report.

 

Consultation: competition analysis of the Austrian storage market

Article 33 of the European Commission's Gas Directive 2009/73/EC leaves the choice between negotiated and regulated access to natural gas storage to member states. It only requires member states/regulators to devise criteria for the purpose of assessing whether TPA to new storage capacity in their country is technically and/or economically necessary at all and if so, whether it should be regulated or negotiated.

The Directive requires member states/regulators to review their current TPA system regularly and improve transparency in choosing the access regime.

For this purpose, E-Control conducted an analysis of the Austrian storage market and submitted it to consultation. The consultation focussed on the following questions:

 
  • Do you consider that there is sufficient flexibility available to all market participants in Austria?
  • Can all market participants use flexibility tools at reasonable cost?
  • Do you consider that there is effective competition on the Austrian storage market?
  • How could the access regime be improved?
  • Will the Austrian storage market develop competitiveness in the future?