Legislative Programme STROOM

 
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On 30 November 2012, the first in a series of bills deriving from the legislative programme known as STROOM (which in Dutch means "electricity") was sent to Parliament. This newsletter discusses the most important amendments to the Electricity Act 1998, the Gas Act and the Heating Supply Act which are set out in that bill (parliamentary document 33 493 no. 2, in Dutch).

This bill largely consists of measures which were announced in the 2011 Energy Report and are together intended to remove certain concrete bottlenecks identified in the Report. Not all of the action points set out in the Report and requiring a legislative amendment are covered in the bill: for example, the bill does not contain provisions facilitating the privatisation of minority interests in the national (gas and electricity) transmission system operators or requiring electricity suppliers to include a certain percentage of sustainable energy in the energy they supply to their customers. If it is decided to implement these two action points, that will be done through separate bills within the framework of STROOM. Other action points will be implemented through additional amendments to the Gas Act and the Electricity Act 1998, also as part of STROOM.

The bill addresses the following subjects:

a. Gas quality

Responsibility for the composition of gas has, to date, been provided for in legislation and other rules only in an implicit manner. The bill contains provisions explicitly setting out and allocating the relevant duties along the gas supply chain.

There are three important actors in relation to the transmission of gas: gas infeeders, network managers and end users. Responsibility for the composition of gas will be divided between these actors by means of two types of specifications: (a) specifications for the gas that infeeders inject and provide to network managers for transmission and distribution purposes, and (b) specifications for the gas that network managers supply to end users. Clarification of these specifications is intended to result in clarification of the responsibility for the composition of gas. Based on the new section 11 of the Gas Act, both of the above types of specifications will be laid down in a ministerial regulation: different specifications may be laid down for different cases. The regulation will be drawn up in line with what has been stated in earlier letters to Parliament regarding the permissible composition of gas.

If gas meeting the...

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