Overcoming the barriers to establishing a European environmental framework for geothermal projects

23 February 2021

Geothermal energy projects must be prioritised, and development accelerated to reach the European Commission’s 55% emissions reduction target by 2030. However, to ensure effective and speedy completion of such projects, there is an urgent need for a common environmental framework that improves the application of the rules for the licensing of geothermal projects.

This will simplify the process, improve community engagement, and create trust between citizens and geothermal developers. Coordination between European regulators and exchanges of best practices from regulators, industries and other key stakeholders is crucial to allow a streamlined framework, that is not a barrier to new developments. This is the aim of the GEOENVI project.

In this event the expert panel discussed the issues surrounding the development of a code of European best practices with regards to licensing and permitting schemes for geothermal projects. It also outlined a set of recommendations for enabling an easier application of the existing set of environmental regulations to allow a quicker market uptake of geothermal technologies.



• Introduction – Philippe Dumas, Secretary General of EGEC and GEOENVI project coordinator

• GEOENVI Recommendations on licensing and Environmental Impact Assessment for deep geothermal projects – Pieter Valkering, Senior Researcher, VITO


Session 1 – Project licensing: a national overview
• Italian Case Study – Fausto Batini, Chief Technology Officer, Magma Energy

• French Case Study – Paul Bonnetblanc, Chargé de mission, French Ministry for the ecological transition

• Hungarian Case Study – Annamaria Nador, Senior Geologist, Geological and Geophysical Institute of Hungary

Helga Ferket, Policy officer – senior researcher deep underground, VPO (Belgium/ Flanders)


Session2 – Round table “How to facilitate the permitting process for geothermal energy?”

Round table with:

• Volkan Ozturk, Yerka Energy AŞ (Turkey)
• Herdís Helga Schopka, Ministy for the environment and natural resources (Iceland)
• Helga Ferket, Policy officer – senior researcher deep underground, VPO (Belgium/ Flanders)
• Fausto Batini, Magma Energy (Italy)
• Paul Bonnetblanc, Ministry for the ecological transition (France)
• Annamaria Nador, Geological and Geophysical Institute (Hungary)
• Thomas Garabetian, EGEC (Belgium/ Europe)

Questions & Answers session with the audience


Watch the recording of the GEOENVI webinar here



23 February 2021

10:00 am -12:00pm (CET)