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Incentives for geothermal development to be reintroduced in Italy

Bagnore 3 plant, Tuscany, Italy (source: Enel Green Power)
Alexander Richter 5 Jun 2020

The Ministry of Economic Development in Italy has announced that incentives for geothermal energy development in Italy will come back as part of the Fer 2 decree regulating renewable energy development incentives.

Following a way too long period of uncertainties, it is now being announced that incentives for geothermal energy (Fer 2) will be released “by this summer”, as reported by Greenreport in Italy.

“In the last meeting at the Ministry of Economic Development, Undersecretary Alessia Morani assured that the incentives for geothermal energy had been reintroduced, and that the act would be released by the summer after the opinion of the Agricultural Policies.”

Tuscan geothermal energy, a renewable source that satisfies 30% of regional electricity demand and supports – between direct and non-employed workers – about 4,000 jobs in the area, has been suffering from a stalemate for some time, which has worsened since 2018 with the unexpected stop to incentives in the Fer 1 decree (then published in the Official Journal on 9 August). After demonstrations born from below that brought thousands of people gathered in the Geothermal movement to the streets and the commitment of local institutions, the first reassurances arrived in January 2020: according to the indications then arrived by the undersecretary at the Ministry of Economic Development (Mise) Alessia Morani the arrival of Fer 2 was in fact expected for February. But then the pandemic came, but the commitment seems to remain: now the horizon is that of summer.

The news is given by the President of the Tuscany Region Enrico Rossi, responding to the requests received in recent weeks by the Pd – Territorial Coordination of Pisa. “As you well know – Rossi replies to the secretary of the Pomarancino Pd club, Loriano Fidanzi – Tuscany has long been engaged in the fight against climate change and in the direction of a carbon neutral region, that is, with a zero emission balance, by 2050. A goal for which the contribution made by geothermal energy is fundamental, as certified for some time internationally by the IPCC – the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or the highest scientific authority in the world on climate change ».

As known, in fact, the IPCC in its special report Renewable energy sources and climate change mitigation clearly reports that the “widespread deployment of geothermal energy could play a significant role in the mitigation of climate change”. All the more so in Tuscany, where geothermal technologies were born for the first time in the world and have continued to develop.

“As regards the aforementioned DM Fer2, I inform you – continues Rossi – that in the last meeting at the Ministry of Economic Development, Undersecretary Alessia Morani ensured that the incentives for geothermal energy had been reintroduced and that the act would be released by the summer , after the opinion of the agricultural policies. The question of relations with Enel and the expiration of concessions (currently scheduled for 2024, editor’s note) is also on the working table of the Region and their commitment to the future investment plan will necessarily be taken into consideration. Finally, as regards CoSviG, despite the Covid-19 emergency in progress, I can assure you that the offices are working to obtain registration so as to transform CoSviG into a real agency for the development of these areas (an advanced hypothesis for the first time during the extraordinary regional council of Larderello last August, ed) “.

“In this area – concludes Rossi – there are great opportunities for development in terms of growth and employment, which must be guaranteed, respecting the environment and the territories”. Possibilities that await now to be declined in facts.

Source: GreenReport