The Energy (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1995 created the framework for third party access to the Bord Gáis Network. They applied at first to large customers and persons who wish to source from alternative suppliers.
All gas fired power generators and final consumers using more than 25 million m3 per annum were eligible as of 2000. This was effectively 50 percent of the market in volume terms.
The Gas (Interim Regulation) Act 2000 increased the gas market by opening by a further 10 percent by reducing the eligibility thresholds to 2 million2 cubic meters per annum. This increased the number of eligible customers to about 100 large customer. This was further reduced to 500,000 cubic meters in 2003 increasing up to 250 larger customers and 74 percent of market in volume.
The European Communities (Internal Market in Natural Gas) (Compulsory Acquisition) Regulations 2001 allow for application for consent to construct the gas pipeline and for grant of compulsory acquisition powers in relation to it.
The Gas (Interim) (Regulation) Act 2002 established the Commission for Energy Regulation (now the Commission for Regulation of Utilities) incorporating the Commission for Electricity Regulation The Act provided for regulation of the domestic gas market. The regulatory functions of the Minister for Communications Marina natural resources were transmitted to the newly constituted an expanded commission.
The regulatory mechanism was similar to that in respect of electricity under the Electricity Regulation Act 1999. The monopoly position of BGE was modified progressively in the same way as that applicable to ESB.
The Commission for Energy Regulation commenced in 2002 and changed the environment radically in which Bord Gáis and the ESB operate. Bord Gáis commenced a strategy of being a dual energy provider of both electricity and gas on an all-Ireland basis.
On 1st July 2004 the gas market was opened to all industrial and commercial customers. They became eligible to switch their natural gas supplier. The eligible customers increased to 17,000. Full domestic opening of the market took place from 1st July 2007.
In 2006 Marathon Oil received the first commercial gas storage license. It commenced operation of a physical gas storage facility using the South-western Kinsale gas field. This provides 70 million m3 of gas allowing gas shippers to stock gas during the low Summer demand period and withdraw it during the additional winter higher supply/demand period.
Shannon LNG received planning permission to develop a €500 million liquefied natural gas receiving terminal on Shannon Estuary in 2008. The project was completed in 2012. The facility allows importation of natural gas in liquid form by ship followed by storage and regasification. The site has a capacity of 3 million tons per annum with 400 m3 a day; up to 40 percent of gas requirements for electricity generation and domestic supply.
In 2009 the CER consented to Shannon LNG constructing a gas pipeline to connect the proposed terminal to the gas transmission network at Foynes.
Gaslink was established in 2007 to comply with the requirements under the EU gas directive 2003. It is an independent system operator responsible for developing and maintaining the natural gas transportation network. Its function is to secure reliable, efficient, and economic transmission and distribution systems subject to economic conditions and with due regard to protection of the environment.
Gaslink must make the network available on a non-discriminatory basis. It is also responsible for planning and developing the gas network. It prepares a seven year plan with five-year price controls.
Bord Gáis remains the system owner and manages and supplies the distribution of gas directly to customers on behalf of Gaslink.
Bord Gáis Networks owns and develops the natural gas transmission and distribution network. This includes gas transportation to service suppliers and shippers including Bord Gáis Energy. There are now over 13,000 kilometres of gas pipelines including the two connectors to Scotland from which Ireland now obtains all of it percent of supplies. Bord Gáis Networks is responsible for new gas connection and work on service pipes and meters at customers’ premises.
Bord Gáis Energy is the dual fuel all Ireland business with approximately 1 million gas and electricity consumers on the island. It is the retail arm of Bord Gáis. It sells gas and electricity to all markets.
Bord Gáis Trading is responsible for procurement of gas and electricity, risk management and hedging strategies.
Bord Gáis Assets pursues and develops he growth opportunities in assets in the energy market. It recently constructed a 445 megawatt gas powered plant and is operating 218 megawatts of wind generation. A further 585 megawatts of wind generation was developed witha further investment of 300 megawatts in renewable energy plants.
REMIT Regulation 1227/2011 is designed to prevent market abuse in the wholesale markets in energy products. Energy prices are subject to complex factors involving the interaction of supply and demand which is subject to the possibility of manipulation or anti-competitive behaviour.
In the context of cross-border supply of energy, the Regulation seeks to create transparency and prevent abuse. It applies to wholesale energy products including.
• contracts for the supply of electricity or natural gas where delivery is in the Union;
• derivatives relating to electricity or natural gas produced, traded or delivered in the Union;
• contracts relating to the transportation of electricity or natural gas in the Union;
• derivatives relating to the transportation of electricity or natural gas in the Union.
• Contracts for the supply and distribution of electricity or natural gas to final consumers with a capacity of more than 600 GWh per year.
The European Communities (Internal Market in Natural Gas and Electricity) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 restate the rules for the internal market in gas. They provide for funding rules for the gas and electricity transmission systems. They provide for certification procedures to be applied to transmission system operators. They enhance the independence of the CER (CRU after the 2016 Act).
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