Support schemes for geothermal energy



European regulations define the support schemes Member States may award geothermal energy projects. In that regard, the Renewable Energy Directive (2009), by promoting priority of dispatch and access to the grid for renewables, and support schemes such as feed-in-tariffs played a significant role. The recast Renewable Energy Directive (2016 proposal) however comes back on many of these provisions, although the discussions between Member States and European Institutions are still ongoing. The State Aid Guidelines on Energy and Environment are the main European legal document defining how support for renewable energy should look like. They notably engage the phase out of feed it tariffs, and favour greater exposure of renewable projects to the market.

Geothermal projects, being highly capital intensive, and carrying great levels of uncertainties on the availability of the resource generally need public support to economically viable.

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