The politically agreed energy transition in Germany with a stepwise exit from nuclear power supply as well as the ambitious goals for the expansion of renewables will not be feasible without a simultaneous expansion of the national energy networks for natural gas and power.
The German long-distance network operators are serving a significant contribution to the security of energy supply by their tailor made expanded and highly available infrastructure for natural gas. In addition the network for natural gas offers a potential to store renewable produced power via appropriate converting processes. Hence, the German long-distance transport grid is taking an important role within the coming amendment of the energy supply and the efficient utilization of the energy infrastructure. Natural gas is still a required energy source – the nationwide long-distance transport grid that consists out of the systems of the German long-distance network operators, transports the natural gas to the domestic and industrial customers.
The supply sources is characterized by significant changes. The declining indigenous production is facing a maintaining stable demand in Germany and a growing demand of the adjacent European neighbors. This have effects on the European infrastructure for natural gas.
North German roundabout in the European gas transmission system
Reliance on imports of natural gas has steadily increased in recent years. Around 85% of the quantities of natural gas needed in Germany were imported in 2011. Within the European natural gas transit system, Gasunie’s cross border transport network has the function of a Northwest European roundabout – thanks to its geographical position and technical efficiency. Via direct import points from the Netherlands, Norway, Russia and Denmark, Gasunie Deutschland transports the natural gas from the compressor facilities to other inter-regional and regional transport systems, major industrial customers and underground storage facilities in Northern Germany.