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Efforts taken to limit areas open for geothermal development in Tuscany

Bagnore 3 plant, Tuscany, Italy (source: Enel Green Power)
Alexander Richter 13 Feb 2017

The Regional Council for Tuscany in Italy has released a draft resolution that would limit areas open to geothermal development in the region.

Over the past few years, there has been opposition to further geothermal energy development in the birth region of geothermal power in Tuscany/ Italy.

Now it is reported locally, that the Regional Council of Tuscany has issued a draft resolution “regarding the definition of areas not suitable for the installation of the geothermal power plants in Tuscany”. The resolution aims, so local politician Tommaso Fattori , to find “a balance between the different vocations of the territory, including the tourist and agricultural, linked to typical products and high-quality” .

In short, the first objection of the various committees of residents who have been opposing new geothermal installations, was substantially upheld by the regional council.

The main concerns of the opposing groups is a possible tarnishing of the “brand” Tuscany, intended largely as a life insurance of quality agriculture and tourism built on the slogans “slow” and sustainable. They have therefore pushed a discussion on new permits, and the development of new geothermal power plants.

There are though differing views in the region and while there is large opposition, there is also a strong support for geothermal development, arguing that geothermal power plants built now are more sustainable, “good and balanced” as they used to be.

 

The issue of zoning is therefore a large part of the discussions, not only looking at locations for new development, but also evaluating existing plants and their environmental and health impact.

So while older plants are seen as polluting and impacting, zero-emission technology of binary geothermal power plants are seen as the future for the region.

Now it is looked to scientific studies that could help evaluate concerns on health and environmental impacts by geothermal power plants in the region.

It will be crucial for existing geothermal operations and new development efforts to show the people of Tuscany that they can coexist with tourism, agriculture and the general population, and answer concerns raised.

Source: Stamp Toscana