The network of Gasunie Deutschland is an important part of Gasunie's more than 15.500 kilometer long pipeline network in the Netherlands and Germany. The two networks combined, act as a gas hub for Northwestern Europe. It connect Germany, the most important natural gas market in Europe with all the major international and domestic sources of supply.
Natural gas will continue to make a considerable contribution to the security of supply of energy for both Germany and Europe over the next decades. Besides, it will be an essential element for the energy transition. In the future, fossil natural gas will gradually be replaced by CO2-neutral synthetic gas. By doing so, the existing gas infrastructure is able to make a significant and economically meaningful contribution to tomorrow's energy system.
gas infrastructure ensures energy supply in Germany and Europe
Currently, domestic natural gas production is predominated by production sited in lower Saxony. Together with the production in the Netherlands, it accounts for a third of the German natural production. However, this share has to be replaced over the next half decade. The reason behind this, is the decline in the Dutch and German gas production. Probably somewhere in 2030, gas won't be shipped anymore from the Netherlands to Germany.
In addition to natural gas from Norway, a large part of the German and European natural gas demand is covered by Russian sources. The gas is transported via the Nord Steam 1 pipelines to Greifswald. From there, it's transported via the North European pipeline: NEL. Gasunie is involved in both pipeline projects.
The most important application of natural gas in Germany is for the heating market. Gas power plants compensate the fluctuations due to weather and the season that cannot be covered by electricity and renewable sources. Natural Gas is the most climate-friendly fossil energy and offers therefore significant climate advantages in serving as a backbone for a fluctuating energy demand. Especially when it is compared to e.g. coal power generation.
Our market role as a TSO is described in the Energy Industry Act. It obliges us to operate a safe, reliable and efficient energy supply network. Besides, when economically justified, expansions need to be realized in order to serve long term gas transport demand.
Market area conversion, the largest infrastructure project of the German gas industry
Gasunie plays an active role in contributing to a smooth transition of the market area conversion. Decline in domestic production levels for low quality calorific gas (L gas) and falling L gas imports from the Netherlands present a key challenge. To tackle this problem, regions of Germany that are still supplied with L gas are switched over to high quality colorific gas (H gas). A total of about five million devices nationwide have to be switched to future-proof- H gas devices. In 2015, the first German public utility company (Municipality Schneverdingen-Neuenkirchen) connected to Gasunie was converted to H gas.