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National Energy Authority operates under the authority of the Ministry of the Environment, Energy, and Climate in accordance with laws and regulations pertaining to the National Energy Authority

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Geothermal plants

Instructions for Geothermal utilization licences


About geothermal utilization licences

The framework of exploitation licences is defined in Article 2(2) of Law No. 57/1998, which states the following:

An exploitation licence under these laws includes authorization for the licensee to extract and utilize the relevant resource during the licence period, to the extent and under the conditions specified in these laws, as deemed necessary by the relevant minister.

Furthermore, Article 17 of Law No. 57/1998 elaborates on the exploitation licence, stipulating that in the granting of an exploitation licence, it must be ensured that the utilization of subsurface resources is carried out in a manner that takes into account environmental considerations, that the utilization of resources is economically viable from a national perspective, and that consideration is given to ongoing utilization in the immediate vicinity. If the licensing authority deems that the applicant for an exploitation permit does not meet these requirements, they may refuse the licence or impose specific conditions on the licence for this purpose.

Here is the link: Application form for geothermal utilization licence

Specific information about geothermal utilization licences

Obligation of Information and Notification of Licence Holders

This provision pertains to the elements outlined in Articles 21, 22, and 23 of Act No. 57/1998. The National Energy Authority (NEA) is the supervisory authority for geothermal licences, and licence holders are required to submit an annual report to the NEA regarding geothermal extraction and how the geothermal resources respond to the extraction process.

It is advisable for these conditions to be explicitly specified in the geothermal licence.

Supervision of Operation and Payment of Supervision Costs

According to Article 21 of Act No. 57/1998, the National Energy Authority is responsible for overseeing geothermal operations areas. The law does not specify the details of how payment for this supervision should be arranged, nor does it specify the pricing for this supervision.

The National Energy Authority's perspective is that it would be most suitable for the licensee to directly cover the costs of supervision to the supervisory authority, and that the amounts and payment arrangements should be precisely specified in the geothermal license.

Processing of Application

The process is such that the applicant applies for a licence to the National Energy Authority. The National Energy Authority then forwards the application, provided that all information is included in the application, to the statutory evaluators for their assessment. The evaluations are subsequently presented to the applicant, who is invited to provide comments on the received evaluations, if necessary.

Based on the application, evaluations, and any comments from the applicant, the National Energy Authority makes a decision on granting or denying the licence. If the licence is granted, the National Energy Authority oversees the licence and appoints a responsible party for it, and it is specified that the licence holder shall do the same.

According to the third paragraph of Article 33 of Act No. 57/1998, decisions of the National Energy Authority regarding the granting, review, or revocation of exploration or utilization licences pursuant to these laws are subject to appeal to the Environmental and Natural Resources Appeals Board. Regarding membership, the time limit for appeals, proceedings, and other matters related to the appeal, they are governed by the laws on the Appeals Board.