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New regulations on geothermal exploration and exploitation released in France

Drilling rig on site of Vendenheim project, Alsace/ France (source: Fonroche)
Alexander Richter 3 Jan 2020

New regulation of applications of geothermal deposits exploration and exploitation licenses have been released and enacted in France.

The regulation of applications of geothermal deposits exploration and exploitation licenses was amended by a decree published on 31 December 2019. The new rules apply from 1 st January 2020 to all securities of applications filed with the administrative authority from this date.

This decree is issued in application of the ordinance of July 24, 2019 amending the provisions of the mining code relating to the granting and extension of exploration and exploitation titles for geothermal deposits. This text establishes a simplified regime for projects in a known geological situation and requiring only a limited exploration phase, and removes the distinction based on the temperature, low or high, of the resource.

The decree regulates the new obligations of applicants and holders of exploration or exploitation titles for geothermal deposits. In particular, it fixes the list of documents to be supplied by applicants to justify their technical and financial capacities. The text also details the steps prior to the granting of an exclusive research permit, its extension, the merger and the transfer of research permits.

These same details are made for concessions. The decree defines in particular the research and operating costs taken into account to fix the duration of the concession on the basis of the economic balance of the project, in accordance with what the 2019 ordinance provides for. Finally, it regulates the research and exploitation of related substances and defines the concept of hydraulic connection.

Documents:

Source: Actu Environnement