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Authors: Paltrinieri, Diego* 
Favali, Paolo* 
Italiano, Francesco* 
Signanini, Patrizio* 
Caso, Carlo* 
Armani, Fabrizio B* 
Title: The Marsili Seamount Offshore Geothermal Reservoir: A Big Challenge for an Energy Transition Model
Journal: Energies 
Series/Report no.: /15 (2022)
Publisher: MDPI
Issue Date: 2022
DOI: 10.3390/en15051900
Abstract: Renewable energies have been the only sources recording a clear increase in total installed capacity, setting a record in new power capacity in 2020, despite the pandemic. The European Union Green Deal represents a strategy towards a sustainable economic model. In this framework, land-based geothermics has seen very limited development; however, offshore geothermics is almost completely absent in the discussion on energy source alternatives, even though it represents a real challenge for energy transition, including the production of green hydrogen. This article discusses an excursus on the activities carried out on offshore geothermal areas worldwide. We focused on the energy potential capacity of the Marsili volcanic seamount located over the bathial plain of the Tyrrhenian Basin, describing the detailed geological, geochemical, and geophysical investigations that have been carried out on that seamount since the 2000s. All the collected data have shown evidence supporting the existence of an exploitable geothermal system in the Marsili seamount consisting of a reservoir of supercritical geothermal fluids of about 100 km3. We discuss and evaluate the actual consistence of the impacts associated with the occurrence of potential risks. We also describe the necessary further steps towards the pilot well. An important breakthrough in the short-medium term that allows for an exit from the predominance of fossil sources may come from the development of energy production derived from offshore high-enthalpy geothermal fields, especially in areas such as the Southern Tyrrhenian Sea. There is a natural clear predisposition for its exploitation combined with a low ecological footprint, which is the target objective of international agreements in the context of a blue economy strategy.
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