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New regulations to simplify permitting for geothermal exploration in France

Drilling rig_on site at Bonneuil-sur-Marne, Paris, France (source: GPC IP)
Alexander Richter 26 Jul 2019

The Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition in France has presented new regulation that would modify provisions in the French Mining Code, aimed at simplifying and clarifying legal framework on permitting for exploration and exploitation of geothermal.

As reported locally by Actu Environnement in France, the country’s Minister of the Ecological and Solidarity Transition presented an ordinance modifying the provisions of the mining code relating to the granting and the extension of the titles of exploration and exploitation of the geothermal deposits to the Council of Ministers, this week.

The ordinance aims to simplify and clarify the existing legal framework in order to encourage the actors of the geothermal energy sector to invest more in the development of this renewable energy , ” says the minutes of the Council of Ministers.

Project promoters and communities will be able to choose the most appropriate regime for their objectives during the research phase, depending on the purpose and maturity of the project, the degree of complexity, the innovative nature and the duration of the projects. works”. A simplified regime will be put in place for projects in known geological situation and requiring only a limited exploration phase. The distinction will no longer relate to the temperature, high or low, of the resource.

The Multiannual Energy Program (EPP) project plans to triple geothermal heat generation by 2028. ” Such results can only be achieved with a strong increase in the number of projects and investments in energy. Exploration of new geological formations, for example deeper than the aquifer in the Paris basin, or innovative geothermal concepts, especially in the Alsace region in the Upper Rhine Graben”.

Comment: it is though unclear if the previously announced cut back on feed-in-tariff incentives in France is materialising, which would counter positive aspects of improved regulation, if I am not mistaken.

Source: Actu Environnement