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Impasse on incentives in deeply hurting geothermal sector in Italy

Cornia 2, hybrid biomass-geothermal plant, Tuscany/ Italy (source: Enel Green Power)
Alexander Richter 23 Apr 2020

The committee supporting geothermal development in Tuscany and Italy, has published an appeal to the Italian government to integrate geothermal into renewable energy incentives as part of the work on FER2 regulation.

A new appeal has been launched from the Italian GeotermiaSi (Geothermal Committee Yes) to unblock the sector’s impasse, also looking at the restart (of the local economy) after the coronavirus emergency, so an statement published in Italy earlier this week.

The Tuscan geothermal district has been experiencing increasingly serious difficulties for about two years, which began when with the abolition of the incentives for geothermal energy in the first Fer decree (Fer 1), an economic crisis started which, with the current closings due at the coronavirus emergency, it risks turning into a tragic and uncontrollable recession.

“A crisis that, as we have already had occasion to say – observe from the Geothermal Committee Yes -, imposes on all sides of the story such as government, regions, municipalities, Enel, businesses, trade unions, courageous choices. The occasion of the so-called Phase 2 may be the last chance for an entrepreneurial and social system that affects areas that are already weak due to peculiar characteristics “.

“It is therefore necessary – continue from the committee in defense of geothermal energy – to start again following all health precautions but at the same time reactivating all those instruments that allow new investments as well as the maintenance and creation of work. In addition to the aid that the Government is putting in place for the In contrast to the crisis, we consider the incentives for geothermal energy provided for in RES 2 to be a fundamental tool for ensuring stable and lasting development. In this context, both institutions and Enel must do their part by recovering the immediate reopening of the discussion tables already established , overcoming any indecision by reactivating an economic system that exists, offering opportunities and reducing bureaucracy as much as possible”.

Below are the renewed proposals and requests made by GeotermiaSì.

“Simplify substantially the bureaucratic procedures of all local institutions starting from the Municipalities up to the Tuscany Region and to the Ministries by introducing in a structural way in the management of the same the telematics for the granting of permits and authorizations, certifications and certificates.

Make Cosvig an increasingly effective structure so that further job opportunities for geothermal companies are increased and developed and that it can become more and more a tool available to Municipalities to manage internal and area projects. In this sense, we deem it useful and necessary to channel resources from Municipalities, Provinces and Regions in a program of development and extraordinary maintenance of road infrastructure, public construction and for the operation of the broadband network, reserving, also in this case, the assignment work on local businesses.

A concrete presence and an increasingly active role of the Tuscany Region within the geothermal areas to reactivate all the tables necessary to prepare concrete support and financing tools for companies that are lean and quick to implement. In this sense, it should be the task of the Tuscany Region to also favor an agreement with the Government and Municipalities of the geothermal area to reactivate works and investments that adopt as far as possible new rules through which it is possible for Enel to derogate from the normal procedures adopted for the assignment of works, maintenance, contracts and supplies in the geothermal industry sector, favoring local businesses and therefore the consolidated industrial district of geothermal areas.

Finally, we believe that the unity achieved in these two years at the political, institutional and trade union level between the territories of the traditional area and that of the Amiata, fruit of the mobilization of the populations of those territories, which it has made it possible to obtain important results such as the change in the prejudiced negative attitude of a large part of public opinion towards geothermal energy, the openings obtained by the various governments, as well as the Regional law that regulates the matter.

Any exemption from this laboriously established heritage would not only not be useful for our citizens, but would not be justified in any way by those who instead understood that only through the unity of forces and proposals, stable and truly satisfying results are achieved.

The GeotermiaSI movement will therefore oppose any tear, any tacticism, any political calculation that could compromise this unitary heritage. Finally, as we have already had several occasions to affirm, in addition to acting on immediate and contingent needs, we believe it is essential already in the negotiation for Fer2, to start tracing routes that allow geothermal territories to transition as painless as possible in anticipation of the the forthcoming renewal of mining concessions.

It is therefore quite clear the need to combine extraordinary investments with ordinary ones that have already fueled the economy and life of our communities over the years. The geothermal sector does not need assistance but rather opportunities for development and guarantees for work as well as recognition of the dignity, capacity and potential of its companies and those who work there. These are the best answers that can be given after an entire nation has stopped, this is investing in the future and it is on this that our citizens will evaluate the skills and reliability of those who govern and administer them “.

Source: Qui News Volterra