Public group addresses 2024 expiration of geothermal licenses, Tuscany

Public group addresses 2024 expiration of geothermal licenses, Tuscany Geothermal path at Biancane Natural Park, Tuscany/ Italy (source:
Alexander Richter 13 Jun 2021

Representative group of the regional districts in the geothermal areas of Tuscany, Italy are preparing for the expiration of geothermal mining licenses in 2024.

An article by Italian publication Greenreport (based on the reporting of CoSviG) shares a report on the challenges and vision for geothermal energy utilisation by the group CoSviG in the region of Tuscany in Italy. The Consortium for the Development of Geothermal Areas (CoSviG Scrl), operates in geothermal areas of Tuscany (Italy) and promotes regional initiatives for sustainable socio-economic development, through the promotion of actions related to support technological innovation, the green economy, renewable energy, energy efficiency. CoSviG is 100% government company. The shareholders are the Districts of geothermal area of Tuscany and related Provinces.

The organisation has now been discussing its strategy, Horizon 2024, for the organization that will be “central to determining the sustainable development of geothermal energy in Tuscany for the next three-year period, which CoSviG is intensively preparing.”

Naturally, these entails a lot of administrative elements of the organisation, yet also a number of interesting aspects

Looking at the management of the resources of the Geothermal Fund, how is the latest Framework Agreement on roads and infrastructures being developed?

“To date, more than EUR 9.3 million have been disbursed for interventions carried out and reported, with a source of over 19.5 million euros already committed for interventions for which the operational program agreement is signed and with the implementation started “.

How are Sestalab’s activities continuing?

Co.Svi.G. acquired Sesta Lab to preserve its excellence capability and experience. Sesta Lab is a test area for Gas Turbine combustion chambers. It started up in ‘90s by ENEL. replicating combustor’s real conditions in terms of pressure, flow and temperature has been the mission since the beginning. A design based on tests results allows to obtain final user’s need (emission, environment,…). It is fundamental to get new Oil&Gas and Power Generation market share. The most important Gas Turbine Manufacturers have run a test at least once in Sesta Lab.

“Despite the difficulties of the last year linked to the pandemic, and therefore to the downturns in the reference markets, ie energy and transport, Sestalab was able to offer international customers (Baker Hughes, Shanghai Electric, Ansaldo Energia and the new entry of China United Gas Turbine) the highest number ever in terms of weeks of operation, which guaranteed a turnover of approximately EUR 7.2 million. In the course of 2021 Sestalab will be further enhanced thanks to investments of EUR 11 million, with the installation of a new compression train and a new high-tech cell, the so-called “cell 3”. Furthermore, an assignment has already been entrusted to verify the feasibility of a transfer of the Sestalab business unit to a newco,

Going beyond the internal organization of the Consortium, what will be the CoSviG priorities at this stage?

“Those of the partners, and therefore ultimately of the geothermal territories, starting from the convening of the announced permanent discussion table. A useful comparison to address the issues that also emerged during the shareholders’ meeting, from the definition of the best methods for the collection and management of geothermal royalties by the Municipalities to the now imminent expiry of the mining concessions. On both fronts as a Consortium we made ourselves available, as a technical and useful tool to link the dialogue between the parties.”

For geothermal concessions expiring in 2024, the prevailing orientation of the Region today seems to be that of competing: what do you think?

“This is the orientation that emerged from the communications of the councilor Monni, which however go towards a doubling of the geothermal power installed, but I think that it will also be necessary to listen to the Municipalities because their contribution is fundamental. It is a political choice, but also of actual legal and regulatory possibilities, that is, it is necessary to understand if both options are viable or if it is strictly necessary to proceed with the tender. The important thing is to decide and act accordingly, quickly, because 2024 is tomorrow: from this point of view we immediately put the technical skills of the Consortium at the disposal of the members, and the same goes for the dialogue initiated by the councilor with the minister Cingolani on the fund parallel to the PNRR of EUR 5 billion euros per year.”

Whether it is a tender or an extension, however, it seems difficult to achieve a doubling of the geothermal power without addressing the NIMIBY (not in my backyarded ) and NIMTO ( not in my term of office, not in my mandate ) syndromes. They are holding back development of renewable sources everywhere. In this sense, more and more studies show that investing in better environmental information and communication is an essential condition: will the new Board of Directors also aim to grow CoSviG in this respect?

“To date we record great appreciation for initiatives such as our COSVIG GeotermiaNews newsletter and more generally for sharing news on geothermal energy, but it is undeniable that negative communication has contributed to the blocking of the development of a renewable energy so important for Tuscany and the whole of Italy. As far as our competence is concerned, we aim to further grow in terms of good environmental information, naturally always following the guidelines that the members would like to give us as members ».

Source: Greenreport