A natural clean energy source, geothermal is a renewable and sustainable source that can significantly contribute to meet the energy needs of a great amount of countries.
It was first harnessed for industrial purposes in Italy: for the first time in 1904 geothermal heat was used to generate electricity at Larderello (Pisa), where in 1913 the world's first geothermal plant was put into service.
Nowadays, geothermal power is a reason of pride for the Italian energy industry and a jewel in the crown for Enel Green Power.
At least 25 countries across the world generate electricity by harnessing the heat from geothermal fluids, with an installed capacity that totals about 11,000 MW.
Italy is Europe's major producer and one of the first worldwide, thanks to Enel that manages 33 plants, totalling a net efficient capacity exceeding 722 MW. This production is concentrated in Tuscany, where Enel's geothermal power meets 25 percent of the region's electricity demand.
Another two plants (47 MW) are online in Nevada, USA, at Salt Wells and Stillwater: they use the binary cycle and mid-enthalpy technology, one of the most advanced in this field.
For the future, EGP is setting up several investment programmes: mostly in Turkey, which has abundant resources, in the USA and in various countries of Central and South America. In Chile, for instance, two concessions are being explored, one of which is located in the El Tatio region, one of the largest geothermal areas in the world.
The Enel Group is a global leader also in technological innovation: its research focuses mainly on binary cycle plants (which use low-temperature endogenous fluids), on hybrid facilities that combine different technologies (geothermal and solar photovoltaic, geothermal and biomass) and on the further reduction of the already extremely low environmental impact of geothermal plants.