The main objective of this report is to present a set of recommendations to harmonize environmental regulations and best practices of deep geothermal for a series of selected technical and process-related topics. The topics and the criteria adopted for their selection are described in detail in other GEOENVI reports.
This report first describes the regulatory barriers and gaps and then proposes recommendations to overcome each topic’s identified issues.
In the first place, the report addresses the four chosen technical topics:
- Seismicity, i.e., the potential modification of natural seismic activity during the geothermal projects’ development and operation
- Aquifers’ interference, i.e., the potential connection of aquifers via the wellbore, the disturbance of non-targeted aquifers, and the modifications of reservoirs’ physiochemical status;
- Aeriform emissions, i.e., the potential geothermal fluid aeriform emissions during wells’ drilling and plant operation;
- Discharge of geothermal fluids, i.e., the potential chemical and temperature effects due both to discharge of geothermal water and drilling fluids onto and into surface/underground water bodies and reinjection of geothermal fluids after production.
Next, the report provides recommendations for five process topics, which are not directly related to technologies but instead refer to practices that impact the development of the geothermal market and reference environmental aspects. These regulatory challenges and cross-cutting topics are:
- Complex licensing and delays;
- Environmental Impact Assessment, taking into account the nature of individual projects;
- Information sharing, including the communication of environmental data and information;
- Creating local benefits as positive impact linked to geothermal development;
- Organizing public participation in the development of geothermal projects.
Read the Compilation of Recommendations on environmental regulations