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Fears for geothermal energy after exclusion from “renewables” in Italy

Bagnore 3 plant, Tuscany, Italy (source: Enel Green Power)
Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 9 Nov 2018

In a devastating move, the Italian government is excluding geothermal energy from "renewable energy"-schemes, essentially cutting incentives and other support. For any future investment into geothermal development, the regional economy in Tuscany/ Italy and the geothermal community in Italy, these are horrible news.

Reported this week from Italy, there is strong concern in the geothermal community and municipalities in Tuscany and Italy after the government decided to exclude the geothermal energy from “renewables”. Geothermal energy is a source of employment and economic benefits for local authorities from the renewable energy decree. What can happen now?

“It will happen, if we will not intervene with the government, Enel [and other geothermal companies] will reduce investment in the territory, a very dimming prospect for all geothermal municipalities”.

These are the predictions of the mayor of Monteverdi, Carlo Giannoni, contacted the mayors of Pomarance, Martignoni , and Castelnuovo Val di Cecina, Ferrini, obtaining almost identical evaluations. “So far – Giannoni continues – the incentives corroborated Enel’s resources for new and important investments, now there is a change that will not improve life in the geothermal area; for example, the project for a new plant in Amiata, in the municipality of Piancastagniaio, could be called into question, equipped with new technologies capable of reducing one-sixth emissions into the air compared to the current power plants ».

A decision of the government, which is stigmatized by the new provincial secretary of the Democratic Party of Pisa, Massimiliano Sonetti, in a letter open to all members, published recently. Sonetti writes: “The Ministry of Economic Development, led by the Cinquestelle, which also had the protection of the environment among its flagships in the electoral campaign, preferred to delay the scheme of incentives. The first impacts of this choice will certainly be in Val di Cecina, where geothermal energy is a stabilized work area. The Democratic Party – concludes Sonetti – will mobilize for the protection of this reality and will not let the government play in risiko on the workers’ skin”.

Meanwhile, other clouds are looming on the horizon: in the Region we have been working on a new law for geothermal law, supported by the parent company of the PD Marras, but strongly opposed by the municipalities of the production area, including Monteverdi in the front line.

Next week Giannoni and other mayors will gather in the Region of Florence to discuss the most controversial topics of the new project and also to establish how to move to the government to change the current guidelines on geothermal: “It will not be easy – underlines Giannoni – the peripheral agencies have little voice and on the other hand already feared that the Cinquestelle would have arrived at this solution for us negative”.

Source: Il Tirreno