Technical profile

Gas balancing: implementing (EU) Regulation 312/2014

June 16, 2016

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With resolution 312/2016/R/gas the Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity Gas and Water approves the Consolidated Balancing Text (Testo Integrato Bilanciamento - TIB) which implements European Regulation 312/2014.
In particular, taking into account the outcomes of consultation 103/206/R/gas and the findings from the numerous meetings and confrontations with operators, users and their associations, resolution 312/2016/R/gas gathers in a single Consolidated Text the elements of the discipline which, with regard to the Regulation, must be clarified or specified in the Italian context as well as the provisions already defined by the Regulatory Authority and not part of the same Regulation. The TIB does not, therefore, overlap, with the European Regulation, but contains additional elements or elements that complete and/or interpret the discipline contained. The resolution, until the coming into effect of the TIB, also approves transitional functional provisions for market management and for starting the balancing scheme. In particular, the TIB details:
  • the general principles of intervention of the TSO[1] on the market - through the sale and purchase of title and locational products and the use of balancing services - thus clarifying the objectives and management criteria of its flexibility resources (line-pack and storage) by the TSO, instead of trading of STSP products with the purpose of maintaining the transmission network within its operational limits, within the gas day.
  • the methods according to which the TSO can propose the use of the so called balancing services; on this point it is provided that the TSO shall specify in their own network code both the critical situations (that cannot be managed through the use of STSP offered by the users who request the supply of balancing services) and the methods for trading, using and activating these services, as well as the effects of the use of balancing services on the price of unbalancing and the actions to minimise potential distortions in market prices;
  • the methods according to which the TSO can use the so called locational type products; on this point the information that the TSO communicates on its internet site and to the GME shall be listed as soon as the TSO sees the necessity to use these products and at least two hours before the session taking place;
  • the price of unbalancing for the aspects not defined by the Regulation, including the small adjustment extent which, in compliance with what was expressed in the consultation, is maintained at the current level (equal to 0.108 €/MWh);
  • introducing, in the context of the market regulated by the GME,  a market organised for the exchange of stored gas among users which the TSO may access in the cases where this action is necessary to deal with possible operative and safety needs, without prejudice to adequate incentives finalised to minimise the use of to this tool;
  • a general criterion of neutrality for the TSO with the contextual provision of a fund to cover the expenses connected with the balancing system and with the manners based on which the TSO deposits or recovers the amounts due. Equally, the performance indicators, on which the calculation of the incentives for the TSO will be based, shall be listed with the aim of pursuing balancing actions compliant with the economic and efficient operation of the transmission network.
  • introducing certain requirements to provide information for balancing, above the TSO - such as publishing the linepack level expected at the end of the following gas day, the value of certain terms in the balancing equation, updates with daily and monthly detail of the performance values recorded and the relative incentives - to the SII Administrator, such as the amount of annual withdrawal associated with each redelivery point of the distribution network and with the GME. As well as approving the TIB, pending the functional amendments of the management of locational product negotiation and of the alienations of stored gas, the resolution provides that the latter take place in the regulatory framework of the current balancing platform PBGas, managed by the GME and having as its central counterparty the TSO. Furthermore, the Regulatory Authority considers it necessary for the TSO and the other infrastructural operators (storage companies, minor transmission operators, regasification companies) to establish interconnection agreements (called operational balancing account or OBA), aiming to guarantee the interoperability and the allocation of the unbalancing costs to the users which have caused them. Finally, the resolution provides for the opportunity to introduce an annual revision of the use and storage capacity by the TSO, thus providing that the first revision shall take place by the deadline for the storage capacity request. The TIB regulation will come into effect from the 1st October 2016, without prejudice to the entitlement of the Regulatory Authority to postpone this date where the conditions for its implementation are not met, because the obligations provided for in the regulation have not been fulfilled.
This sheet is for disclosure purposes only; it is not a measure.

[1] TSO is the subject responsible for gas balancing (Responsabile del bilanciamento - RdB). Translator's note: SNAM.