European Gas Transparency Platformdeveloped by ENTSO-G
Regulation (EC) № 715/2009 and its amendments require ENTSOG to provide a Union-wide platform where all Transmission System Operators for gas shall make their relevant data publicly available. The first common platform has been set up by the TSOs on a voluntary basis in 2008 and then improved in 2013 in order to comply with changed Transparency regulation requirements (Chapter 3 of 102 Annex №1 to Regulation (EC) № 715/2009 and its amendments). On 1 October 2014, ENTSOG launched a new Transparency Platform. By providing free of charge vast information related to gas transmission in an organised and structured way, the platform is a further contribution by TSOs for gas to enhance transparency in the European energy market. The Transparency Platform provides technical and commercial data on gas transmission systems, which include interconnection points and connections with storages, LNG facilities, distribution networks, final consumers and production facilities. The platform is available on web address: https://transparency.entsog.eu where the interested parties are able to access valuable information uploaded by all TSOs.
Regulation (EC) № 715/2009 aims at:
(a) setting non-discriminatory rules for access conditions to natural gas transmission systems taking into account the special characteristics of national and regional markets with a view to ensuring the proper functioning of the internal market in gas;
(b) setting non-discriminatory rules for access conditions to LNG facilities and storage facilities taking into account the special characteristics of national and regional markets; and
(c) facilitating the emergence of a well-functioning and transparent wholesale market with a high level of security of supply in gas and providing mechanisms to harmonise the network access rules for cross-border exchanges in gas.
The objectives referred to in the first subparagraph shall include the setting of:
- harmonised principles for tariffs, or the methodologies underlying their calculation, for access to the network, but not to storage facilities;
- the establishment of third-party access services and harmonised principles for capacity-allocation and congestion-management;
- the determination of transparency requirements, balancing rules and imbalance charges, and the facilitation of capacity trading.
The criteria according to which tariffs for access to the network are determined, in order to ensure that they fully comply with the principle of non-discrimination and the needs of a well-functioning internal market and take fully into account the need for system integrity and reflect the actual costs incurred, insofar as such costs correspond to those of an efficient and structurally comparable network operator and are transparent, whilst including appropriate return on investments, and, where appropriate, taking account of the benchmarking of tariffs by the regulatory authorities.
In calculating tariffs for access to networks, it is important to take account of the actual costs incurred, insofar as such costs correspond to those of an efficient and structurally comparable network operator, and are transparent, as well as of the need to provide appropriate return on investments and incentives to construct new infrastructure, including special regulatory treatment for new investments as provided for in Directive 2009/73/EC. In that respect, and in particular if effective pipeline-to-pipeline competition exists, the benchmarking of tariffs by the regulatory authorities will be a relevant consideration.
The use of market-based arrangements, such as auctions, to determine tariffs has to be compatible with the provisions laid down in Directive 2009/73/EC.
It is well known that at the present, there are obstacles to the sale of gas on equal terms, without discrimination or disadvantage in the Community. In particular, non-discriminatory network access and an equally effective level of regulatory supervision do not yet exist in each Member State, and isolated markets persist.
Increased cooperation and coordination among transmission system operators is required to create network codes for providing and managing effective and transparent access to the transmission networks across borders, and to ensure coordinated and sufficiently forward looking planning and sound technical evolution of the transmission system in the Community, including the creation of interconnection capacities, with due regard to the environment.
In the same time, non-discriminatory and transparent balancing systems for gas, operated by transmission system operators, are important mechanisms, particularly for new market entrants which may have more difficulty balancing their overall sales portfolio than companies already established within a relevant market. It is therefore necessary to lay down rules to ensure that transmission system operators operate such mechanisms in a manner compatible with non-discriminatory, transparent and effective access conditions to the network.
Equal access to information on the physical status and efficiency of the system is necessary to enable all market participants to assess the overall demand and supply situation and to identify the reasons for movements in the wholesale price. This includes more precise information on supply and demand, network capacity, flows and maintenance, balancing and availability and usage of storage. The importance of that information for the functioning of the market requires alleviating existing limitations to publication for confidentiality reasons.
What is most important, is that the national regulatory authorities should ensure compliance with the rules contained in Regulation (EC) № 715/2009 and the Guidelines adopted.
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