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Issue title:

Gas price cap

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People seem to be getting used to the crisis situation. At the Dena Energy Transition Congress, the tenor of the opening panel was that the necessary steps had now been taken to overcome the crisis, and that politicians could devote more attention again to the future tasks in the energy and climate transition. Among the participants of the panel - which was very nicely and eloquently moderated by Dena's CEO Andreas Kuhlmann - were Patrick Graichen, the state secretary in the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, Kerstin Andrae, the chairwoman of the executive board of BDEW (German Association of Energy and Water Industries), and Veronika Grimm, who as a professor is present in all important energy and climate policy committees. It was left up to the representative of the industrial companies to point out that the crisis was by no means over and that the energy price level and the only partially clarified relief issues were threatening the industry's existence. 

But when I talk to traders, I often feel the same way. They have become accustomed to the fact that within ten days, the Day-Ahead price - as in November - can rise by 60.00 euros/MWh and that intra-day volatility remains high. The BNetzA (Federal Network Agency) and its president Klaus Müller are doing a lot to ensure that the critical situation remains in people's minds. On 25 November, Mr Müller presented five new indicators to visualise the gas supply situation in a generally understandable way. I will describe the indicators in the next edition. 

Partial caps on end-customer prices for electricity and gas are the most important measures to ease the burden of the crisis for industry and households. In November, many staff members at the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) must have worked overtime to hammer out legal texts from the proposals of the Gas and Heat Commission. I have explained the contents and the tight timeline in the Topic of the Month. 

A short preview: In the next issue, I will present the Hydrogen Council's study on the heating market, which was presented on 28 November – the day of my editorial deadline. The Hydrogen Council's views on hydrogen in the heat market are quite different among members. Felix Matthes, a member of the Hydrogen Council, did not want to comment any further on his remark that there had been ups and downs in the preparation of the study.

Dear reader, I wish you a wonderful start to the new year despite all the turmoil in 2022. The next issue of energate Gasmarkt will not be published until the beginning of January.

TOPIC OF THE MONTH Gas price cap

Naturally, the partial gas price cap was the dominant topic in November. It was also a new lesson about the speed with which politics and new laws can be made in times of crisis - with all the risks and side effects of accelerated legislation.

The chronological sequence: On 26 October, the first draft of an 'Act on Emergency Aid for End Consumers Natural Gas and Customers of Heat supplied through Pipelines' (EWSG - Gesetz über eine Soforthilfe für Letztverbraucher von leitungsgebundenem Erdgas und Kunden von Wärme) became known. On 31 October, the expert commission on Gas and Heat published its final report. On 1 November, the first key points for implementing the relief measures for households and industrial users circulated in Berlin. On 2 November the cabinet adopted its final draft of the 'Act on Emergency Aid for End Consumers Natural Gas and Customers of Heat supplied through Pipelines' (EWSG), thus starting the legislative procedure. On 7 November, the Bundestag (lower house of German parliament) held a hearing on the EMSG...