Natural Gas Balancing, Storage, and Flexibility in Europe: Assessing the Recent Literature

Abstract

The liberalization process of European gas markets has shown how pivotal is the role of both balancing mechanisms and flexibility instruments. Before the liberalization, in fact, these activities were perceived as being very technical. A growing body of literature, instead, has demonstrated how decentralized and market-oriented forms of managing both issues is crucial for achieving well-functioning and liquid wholesale markets. The aim of our paper is precisely to show how the evolution of theoretical models, coupled with findings from empirical investigations, has provided scientific justifications for the introduction of market-oriented rules by regulators and policy makers. At present, to achieve a fully integrated European market, the Energy Union policy framework has to attain one last final target: the harmonization and integration of balancing and flexibility mechanisms among markets, particularly with the expected increase in intermittent generation.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    From Keyaerts et al. [9] “system integrity” is defined as “each situation of a transport system where the pressure [and the quality of the natural gas] remain within the lower and upper limits set by the system operator such that the transport of natural Gas is guaranteed”.

  2. 2.

    For example, the number of the so-called flow against price differential events in North Western Europe has been rather volatile in recent years but significantly decreased in the third quarter of 2015.

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Correspondence to Anna Cretì.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Midstream Sector

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Cretì, A., Pontoni, F. Natural Gas Balancing, Storage, and Flexibility in Europe: Assessing the Recent Literature. Curr Sustainable Renewable Energy Rep 3, 18–22 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40518-016-0046-0

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Keywords

  • Balancing
  • Storage
  • Flexibility
  • Hub