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Incentives for fossil fuels in Italy 171 times higher than those for geothermal energy

Bagnore 3 plant, Tuscany, Italy (source: Enel Green Power)
Alexander Richter 20 Sep 2019

A recent news article in Italy points to the high incentives paid for fossil fuels compared to that of geothermal. With EUR 16.8 billion in incentives, Italy spends 171 times more on fossil fuels than on geothermal energy.

In a report shared in Greenreport in Italy, takes on the European Commission of the EU in reference to statements by the European Geothermal Energy Council.

The members of the new European Commission were indicated last week by the president-elect Ursula von der Leyen, with the ambition to tackle the climate, technological and demographic changes that are transforming our societies and our way of life. “This team will shape the European way: we will adopt courageous measures against climate change,” the new president declared in the first place, a challenge that sees the European world of geothermal energy at the forefront.

The European Geothermal Energy Council (EGEC has in fact congratulated in particular with Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans (who will coordinate the activities for the European Green deal and will manage the Climate Action Policy) and with Kadri Simson, referred to as responsible for the “Energy” portfolio.

“The geothermal sector – urged by EGEC – hopes for ambition: via subsidies for fossil fuels, a level playing field in heating and cooling”. More generally, we want to draw the attention of the new European Commission to the summary document drafted this summer on climate matters, with the aim of favoring a zero-net emissions Europe in 2050, also thanks to the progress that can be made in the geothermal field.

The document clearly states that geothermal energy and other renewables “do not compete in a fair market. On the contrary, solutions using geothermal energy, both large-scale systems and geothermal systems for a single family, must compete in a market characterized by the dominant position of fossil fuels, which continue to benefit from different forms of subsidies and public aid ».

Renewables, unlike fossil fuels, receive incentives as they are indispensable sources of energy for the transition to a zero net greenhouse gas emissions economy, but they are still underfunded compared to fossils.

This is a topic of great importance also in Italy, where the Ministry of the Environment certifies that environmentally harmful subsidies exceed those that are environmentally favourable. More in detail, it estimates the subsidies paid in favour of fossil fuels to EUR 16.8 billion a year, while for example those currently granted in favour of geothermal energy amount to EUR 98 million a year: a figure 171 times lower.

Source: GreenReport