After confirmation in parliamentary procedures, the Act amending the Energy Industry Act to introduce requirements on how full the gas storage facilities must be (Gas Storage Act) was published today in the Federal Official Gazette and will enter into force as planned tomorrow, 30 April 2022.
This obliges all operators in Germany to gradually fill their storage facilities. Especially with a view to the coming winter, this is intended to further strengthen precautionary measures and also curb sharp price spikes.
Germany has by far the largest storage capacities for natural gas in Central and Western Europe. These capacities are sufficient to supply Germany for a longer period of time. However, it means that the storage facilities must be well filled at the beginning of the heating season.
The storage levels were historically low in the winter of 2021/2022 - which is one reason why prices rose sharply on the short-term trading markets.
The new Gas Storage Act is now intended to improve provisions for the next winter. A multistage procedure is to make sure that storage filling is initially to be market-based and, if necessary, be stimulated by tendering of gas options. If it can be foreseen that minimum filling levels will not not reached, additional instruments are to be used to ensure that defined minimum filling levels are reached by various dates.
Specifically, this means that the market area manager, which in this case is the Trading Hub Europe GmbH, a subsidiary of all gas pipeline operators in Germany, is responsible for gradually filling the storage facilities.

The goal is to reach 80% by 1st October, 90% by 1st November and 40% by 1st February.
When this come into force, the entire summer semester will be available for filling the storage facilities.