Natural gas supply
In May 1979, the Danish Parliament decided to establish the Danish natural gas supply system. This took place with the adoption of the Natural Gas Supply Act. The main purpose of the decision was to make oil a smaller component in Danish energy supply in order to lessen the consequences of oil crises such as those experienced in 1973 and 1979.
Natural Gas Supply Act
The Natural Gas Supply Act ensures that the supply of natural gas is organised and implemented in the interests of security of supply, economics, and the environment, and in order to protect consumers.
The Act regulates transmission, distribution, supply, and storage of natural gas, including liquid natural gas. The Act also applies to biogas, gas from biomass and other types of gas to the extent that such gasses technically and safely can be transported through the natural gas system.
Since January 2004, the Act has given consumers of natural gas in Denmark the right to choose their own supplier of natural gas or to be supplied by a company with a universal service licence.
The Danish natural gas transport system
The transmission system
The backbone of the gas infrastructure is the transmission system, which leads natural gas from the North Sea to the distribution networks on land. The distribution network is the connection to the customers. Energinet owns and operates the transmission system in Denmark. The transmission system is also the route to Germany and Sweden, and to the two Danish gas storage facilities, which are consolidated in a separate company owned by Energinet. The gas storage facilities contain all the excess gas production, particularly from the summer months. The excess production is used to level-out seasonal and daily fluctuations as well as for an emergency storage in case of supply failure.
The distribution system
The part of the infrastructure nearest to the customers is the distribution system, and this consists of distribution lines and service lines. From the distribution lines, the gas is delivered to the individual consumer’s service line. The distribution network is owned and operated by four Danish distribution companies. DONG Gas Distribution (which, since 30 September 2016, has been assigned to Energinet.dk), HMN Nature Energy and Naturgas Net in Aalborg.
The total length of all the lines in the distribution network is 17,000 kilometres and around 400,000 customers, households, electricity and heat companies, and businesses are connected to the network. The distribution network was originally designed to receive natural gas from the transmission grid only, but today local biogas plants deliver gas to the network as well.
Integration with the European infrastructure
The Danish gas system is an integrated part of the European gas infrastructure. It is designed to receive gas from the North Sea as well as Germany. The Danish gas system also acts as a transit network for natural gas and it connects the Swedish market to the rest of the European market. As a result, the Swedish market depends on Danish supply and infrastructure. However, the largest amounts of transit gas are transmitted from the North Sea to the central European market via Germany.