KU Leuven

Promotor / Supervisor

  •   Prof. dr. ir. William D'haeseleer (promotor)
  •   Prof. dr. Stefaan Proost (mede-promotor)

Samenvatting van het onderzoek / Summary of Research

To increase the efficiency of the gas industry, and thus the welfare ofthe great many gas consumers in Europe, the European Union has decided to reform the European gas markets. Unbundling of the industry in competitive activities – production and supply – and non-competitive regulated network services, on the one hand, and liberalization and integration of national gas markets, on the other hand, make up the keystones. These reforms create new challenges with regard to organizing a safe, reliable and efficient gas supply for which the coordination of the different independent actors is crucial. The gas-balancing rules are an important coordination mechanism for the operation of the gas system. These rules have to ensure the continuous physical system integrity by maintaining balance between gas injection, withdrawal and storage within the operational limits of the system, on the one hand. On the other hand, the rules have to ensure that flexibility costs are allocated correctly and that network users are incentivized to balance their contract positions themselves.
In this dissertation, the balancing issue in Europe is conceptually mapped and quantitative methods to study gas balancing are presented from different viewpoints like the increasing interaction between gas and electricity systems, the efficiency effects of transnational shippers and the possibilities for cross-border cooperation by gas-transmission-system operators. The results demonstrate that the current balancing rules are not adequately allocating cost to the users of flexibility. Furthermore, structural design differences between the rules in adjacent regions of the current multi-region gas market can reduce overall welfare. To accommodate these issues, it is recommended to introduce shorter balancing intervals, supplemented by the marketing of short term flexibility services, and to structurally perform a compatibility test between regions with different balancing rules in order to identify and remedy existing negative externalities. Further research is necessary though, to define optimal balancing rules and to design a well functioning and efficient European gas market.

Volledige tekst van het doctoraat / full text

Examencommissie / Board of examiners

  •   Prof. dr. ir. William D'haeseleer (promotor)
  •   Prof. dr. Stefaan Proost (mede-promotor)
  •   Prof. dr. Carlo Vandecasteele (voorzitter/chairman)
  •   Prof. dr. ir. Lieve Helsen (secretaris/secretary)
  •   Prof. dr. ir. Ronnie Belmans
  •   De heer Leonardo Meeus
  •   Prof. dr. Jean-Michel Glachant , Université de Paris Sud II