Operators of natural gas storage facilities in Germany and Europe have faced a number of challenges since the opening of the market in 2009. On the one hand, there are countries with strong regulation and the associated secure revenues for storage operators, while in other countries such as Germany storage operators are not regulated and are exposed to all market risks. In many European EU member states, the liberalisation of the EU market has in fact not been implemented or only to a limited extent, so that storage services are only partially traded on a cross-border basis. On the other hand, the EU Commission has created additional flexibility by demanding and subsidising the reversal of the large gas transport systems. The flexibility market is characterised by overcapacities.
In many cases, market prices mean that the full costs are not covered. At the same time, gas storage facilities are gaining in importance, not only for fulfilling "traditional" storage functions such as seasonal seasonal fluctuations and covering peaks in demand. Gas storage facilities are insurance against unforeseen events such as production and supply failures, e.g. by providing additional quantities and services in the event of extreme weather events as well as production or line failures.
There are various developments on the European gas market whose effects on the storage market will lead to a high degree of uncertainty for the future of gas storage facilities. In the short to medium term, European gas production will continue to decline and with it supply flexibility. A typical example is the decline in Groningen production and its flexibility due to political decisions. The replacement by baseload deliveries requires additional storage capacities for structuring. In the long term, gas storage facilities will also play a key role in the industry coupling - as long-term and large-volume storage facilities for demand-driven power generation in gas power plants and for the gaseous storage of excess electricity volumes from regenerative generation (power to gas). Whether gas storage facilities will be used in the future as part of the energy transition also depends to a large extent on political decisions.
How should the political framework conditions be set so that there will be neither high overcapacities nor a lack of gas storage capacities in the future?
How can the storage industry make its voice heard in the political debate?
Which factors influence the development of the gas storage market in Germany and Europe?
How will storage utilization, prices, revenues and costs develop?
What are the relevant and profitable storage products of the future?
Do value adjustments have to be made to certain storage facilities and in what amount?
Which storage facilities will survive the consolidation phase?
Are there undervalued storage assets worth buying?
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