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Issue title:

Interview with Eric Stab, CEO of Engie Germany

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April saw the finalisation of several legislative projects at the European and German levels. On 11 April, the EU Parliament adopted the trilogue compromise on the Gas and Hydrogen Directive and the accompanying direct EU regulation by a large majority. The Council still has to formally approve the directive before it can be transposed into national law. This will also include requirements for possible decommissioning plans for gas distribution grids. In the last edition, I reported on a ‘Green Paper’ from the German Ministry of Economics and Climate Action (BMWK), which was to some extent motivated by these European requirements. The paper set out the necessary adjustments to the legal and regulatory framework for a shortened utilisation of gas grids. Philipp Steinberg, the head of the responsible department at the BMWK, explicitly emphasised these European requirements in an interview during the Handelsblatt Annual Conference for Municipal Utilities. He said the ministry had thought about a more friendly and optimistic wording than premature termination.

On 12 April, the Bundestag (lower house of parliament) adopted the amendment to the Energy Industry Act (EnWG) with the joint hydrogen and gas grid planning and the financing concept for the hydrogen core grid. Changes were made to the government's cabinet draft, but not to the key points. Naturally, in this edition you can read in detail all about the exact adjustments that were made. To be honest, I have no real idea whether the transmission system operators will finally submit a joint proposal on this basis.

Topic of the month: Interview with Eric Stab, CEO of Engie Germany

Eric Stab has been CEO of Engie Germany since June 2023. This takes him back to the beginning of his career, which he started in 1991 at Gaz de France Germany, most recently as director of finance and corporate development. He worked for the various successor companies of Gaz de France in France, the UK and Eastern Europe. From 2010 to May 2023, he was CEO of Engie Romania. He is also responsible for the Engie business unit Networks Europe. Mr Stab has also been a member of the supervisory board of Berlin-based GASAG since December 2021. At the beginning of March this year, he was elected chairman of the supervisory board, succeeding Manfred Schmitz. Mr Schmitz was also his predecessor as CEO of Engie Deutschland. I spoke to Mr Stab about Engie's ambitions in Germany and in Berlin.