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New legislation in Tuscany to open geothermal market for players beside Enel

Rancia 2 geothermal power plant, Tuscany/ Italy (source: Enel Green Power)
Alexander Richter 6 Feb 2019

A new piece of geothermal legislation in Tuscany opens low and medium enthalpy geothermal development opportunities for other companies than the omnipresent Enel in the region.

Local news report the end of a long political debate that lasted several years with strong opposition.

First comments on the piece of legislation are cautiously positive. “The final text – observes Mayor Carlo Giannoni , one of the most combative exponents in the defense of the history of the steam industry – as far as I could read it seems to me that it corresponds quite well to the needs that we had expressed many times. Greater attention is paid to environmental issues and there are certain rules. Overall, it is a step forward for the development of the sector. I stop here, because, for a more detailed judgment it is necessary to read the technical specifications.”

An innovative aspect of the new law is the opening of the territory to companies wishing to create new geothermal steam extraction sites. “In the Region there are already many requests for concession – remembers Carlo Macchioni, councilor delegated to the environment of the municipality of Monteverdi – which now will have to be evaluated according to what was established for the free market of concessions. Before this law, only Enel could carry out new drilling, now other companies will also be able to intervene in the area, but limited to the low and medium enthalpy, while the electricity company will continue to operate in high-grade enthalpy.”

However, the free market does not mean that drilling can be carried out anywhere, the regional law identifies “vocated” areas and those that are not. “Monteverdi is out of this reach – Giannoni points out – but in any case the Region will have to work with attention to local sensibilities and technical-scientific curricula of companies asking for concessions and their economic guarantees: it would not be a good result to transform the territory into a cheese with holes made by hit and run companies. I also hope that the Region will now authorize the new PC6 plant in Piancastagnaio as soon as possible, which will give a strong boost to employment. Waiting, as mayors of the geothermal area, to be received by the Minister of Development, for the unresolved question of denied incentives, without which the repercussions will be almost immediate throughout the armored sector.

Source: Il Tirreno