Article Germany: Act to Accelerate Use of Liquefied Natural Gas to Counter Reliance on Russian Gas Enters Into Force

On June 1, 2022, an act to accelerate the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) entered into force in Germany. The act intends to counter Germany’s reliance on Russian gas and ensure an adequate and diversified gas supply. It provides for accelerated procurement procedures and allows forgoing the environmental impact assessments under certain conditions to build the necessary import infrastructure. The act will generally expire on June 30, 2025. (Act to Accelerate the Use of Liquefied Natural Gas § 14, para. 2.)

Content of the Act

The act provides rules for the licensing and approval of fixed and floating facilities, cables, and pipelines to land, regasify, and transfer LNG in Germany and for the public procurement of such projects. (§ 2.) In particular, it allows exceptions from the environmental impact assessment requirement if the accelerated approval of the procedure will make a relevant contribution to reducing or preventing a gas supply crisis. (§ 4.) In addition, the public procurement process is accelerated. (§ 9.)

The act also limits the duration of the licenses to operate LNG facilities to December 31, 2043, to comply with Germany’s climate goals. In 2021, Germany codified the goal to become climate neutral by 2045 as a legally binding obligation in its Federal Climate Change Act. The continued operation will therefore be allowed only for facilities that produce climate-neutral hydrogen and its derivatives. (§ 5, para. 1, no. 4; § 5, para. 2.)

Background to the Act

Currently, Germany receives about 40% of its gas supply from Russia. The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has shown that Germany’s reliance on Russian gas must be reassessed. It seems likely that there will be an interruption in Russian gas deliveries to Germany. This scenario has caused an “unforeseen, exceptional, and volatile situation in the gas market.” The German government therefore decided to ensure the national gas supply from other sources because gas can generally not be substituted with other energy sources. One of the few options to buy additional gas on the world market on short notice is LNG. However, Germany does not have a specific LNG import infrastructure to land, regasify, and transfer LNG in Germany. The act therefore intends to accelerate the necessary approval and public procurement processes. (Explanatory Memorandum at 1.)

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Germany: Act to Accelerate Use of Liquefied Natural Gas to Counter Reliance on Russian Gas Enters Into Force
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Chicago citation style:

Germany: Act to Accelerate Use of Liquefied Natural Gas to Counter Reliance on Russian Gas Enters Into Force. 2022. Web Page. https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2022-06-07/germany-act-to-accelerate-use-of-liquefied-natural-gas-to-counter-reliance-on-russian-gas-enters-into-force/.

APA citation style:

(2022) Germany: Act to Accelerate Use of Liquefied Natural Gas to Counter Reliance on Russian Gas Enters Into Force. [Web Page] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2022-06-07/germany-act-to-accelerate-use-of-liquefied-natural-gas-to-counter-reliance-on-russian-gas-enters-into-force/.

MLA citation style:

Germany: Act to Accelerate Use of Liquefied Natural Gas to Counter Reliance on Russian Gas Enters Into Force. 2022. Web Page. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2022-06-07/germany-act-to-accelerate-use-of-liquefied-natural-gas-to-counter-reliance-on-russian-gas-enters-into-force/>.

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