Strengthening enabling frameworks for geothermal in Europe


  • PUBLISHED: September 28, 2017

A note by EGEC President Ruggero Bertani

The High-Level Conference of the Global Geothermal Alliance was a significant step that signaled the importance of geothermal for the transition towards clean energy. This meaningful event discussed in depth the main barriers faced by the geothermal sector, leading to a commitment shared by many governments to pursue a greater ambition for geothermal development.

In my keynote address, I presented the distinguished guests with a note on “Strengthening enabling frameworks: Geothermal policy, regulation and finance”. It is in fact most important that, to achieve a massive development of geothermal energy in Europe, we consider the following aspects:

  • Job creation, first of all. Being geothermal a local energy source, intensive geothermal applications, both in electricity and direct uses, can sustain local economies: in Tuscany only, geothermal energy has created 2,000 direct jobs, and about ten times more indirect jobs.
  • Low temperature uses are available almost everywhere: there is an immense reserve of heat under our feet! This development should be sustained through appropriate tax incentives.
  • Geothermal energy can decarbonize 100% of the European heating needs, in a cost-effective, competitive way.
  • Research and innovation should be key to achieve a sensible cost reduction in the development phase and for risk mitigation in geothermal exploration
  • Land occupation is also a critical aspect: geothermal plants do not have to be unpleasant buildings. Plants can be compact, integrated in the landscape, and even become in some cases (like in Iceland and in Italy) a touristic attraction.
  • Geothermal can contribute to mitigate the effects of climate change that we already experiencing thanks to a massive reduction in CO2 emissions for heating and electricity compared to conventional plants.

Now more than ever we need an international commitment towards renewable energies, and geothermal has an important role to play for the development of sustainable energy.

In the same days, I also attended an important meeting to strengthen geothermal cooperation at regional level in Europe. I have the pleasure to preannounce that a Memorandum of Understanding will be finalized soon, and that many European regions with strategic geothermal development or potential for development will work together to exchange experiences and create new synergies. It is a great starting point to foster cooperation and the realization of geothermal potential.

Ruggero Bertani, EGEC’s President, speaking at the High Level Conference of the Global Geothermal Alliance


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