In Chiusdino (Siena, Italy), Enel Green Power has inaugurated a pilot system run with geothermal heat for the cultivation of spirulina. Photo: Enel Green Power

Alexander Richter reports for Geothermal Energy News that, among the many examples offered during a recent conference in Pisa, Italy, on Perspectives and Impact of the Green Economy is a project that cultivates geothermal energy and spirulina together. This project has so far created around 100 jobs in Tuscany, Italy.

The project in Chiusdino is a successful experiment demonstrating the beneficial relationship between geothermal and spirulina, a cyanobacteria with multiple industrial and food potentials – and soon to be included on the menu of the NASA astronauts.

The CO2 needed to feed the crops and their thermoregulation are the main costs of producing spirulina, so combining it with geothermal cultivation allows the ability to supply both in an economic and sustainable way. The CO2 supply coming from geothermal plants represents an environmental, social and economic benefit.

As illustrated by Marco Paci, Head of Geothermal Laboratories of Enel Green Power and Niccolò Bassi (F & M srl, a spin-off company of the University of Florence), at the event, it showcases “a real supply chain which has the potential to avoid the release into the atmosphere of over 20 thousand tons of CO2 annually.”

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