Thursday, January 25, 2018

Science & Technology: The Role of Accurate, Comprehensive and Public Information in Geothermal Energy Outreach

Partial or incorrect information threatens geothermal development (EGEC)

The environmental impact of geothermal energy has recently been a topic of debate in the European Parliament, raised by Italian MEPs. Now, a scientific paper published by Manzella et al, analyses the issue more in depth and provides an assessment of the environmental impact of geothermal in Tuscany and the regulatory background. It concludes that “partial or incorrectly provided information represents a serious threat to geothermal development”.

The evidence brought forward was related to the Italian case of Mount Amiata, a volcanic area rich in CO2 naturally degassing from soil located 46 miles south-east of Larderello in Tuscany, and mined for centuries in search of mercury. The facts that were used to present this case study as definite proof of environmental impact caused by geothermal energy development were, however, widely incorrect.

The paper “Environmental and social aspects of geothermal energy in Italy”, will be published in March 2018 in Geothermics, provides in fact a comprehensive description of the Italian case, analyzing the effects of geothermal development on air, water, and soil, and investigating potential disturbance from noise, subsidence, and seismicity, as well as the visual impact on the landscape.

Environmental and social aspects of geothermal energy in Italy. By Adele Manzella, et alGeothermics Volume 72, March 2018.