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Italy to Relaunch Entire Geothermal Sector

Mon, 04 July, 2022

National convention on geothermal to relaunch the entire sector in Italy

All of the main national geothermal stakeholders met in Rome the 16th of June with the aim of taking stock and pushing on the development of this renewable source in Italy: the world’s first country to adopt geothermal technologies more than two centuries ago; for the extraction of boron earlier, and then for power generation and district heating.

The event was organized by the National Platform on Geothermal, a group of associations and organizations engaged in the geothermal sector, including CoSviG (Consortium for the Development of Geothermal Areas), and which is coordinated by the National Council of Geologists.

The common perspective, essential for bringing all stakeholders and institutions, is that the heat from the underground is a programmable and flexible renewable energy source. It can be considered strategic and complimentary with other renewables that depend on weather conditions, such as solar and wind power. In addition, geothermal energy can be used in a safe and sustainable way thanks to the best available technologies in this field.

The event was opened by the Minister for the Ecological Transition, Roberto Cingolani, who reported that geothermal can supply more energy over time with the same installed power and this gives a strategic value to this energy source to face the energy crisis and meet the 2030 EU targets for Italy. The Minister also stated that the new feed-in-tariff scheme for new generation RES plants and innovative RES technologies, including zero emission plants and geothermal technologies with innovative elements, is under approval and will be issued soon. The new decree with incentives is strongly expected by the geothermal sector since new plants no longer receive incentives from 2019.

However, the lack of incentives is not the only problem that geothermal energy is facing in Italy. As confirmed by following interventions, one of the main obstacles to geothermal development is the lack of research, training and communication at different levels on this energy source. This, even though the European Environment Agency reported that geothermal for electricity and heat production allowed to avoid the emission of 2 million tons of CO2, the consumption of 700.000 tons of fossil fuels, cut 1.000 tons of NOx, 700 tons of sulfur dioxide and 400 tons of fine dust in Europe in 2018.

The value of geothermal for the sustainable development of territories and local communities was the topic of the speech by Loredana Torsello, from CoSviG, who highlighted how this source of thermal energy can be used by thermal energy communities. Indeed, waste heat from a power plant or shallow geothermal resources can also be used in an economically viable way by small communities or quartiers through a micro district heating network.


Article published courtesy of COSVIG

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