THE BREATH OF EARTH                              (January 2005)

One hundred years have passed since the first experiment utilising geothermal steam in order to produce electric energy, occurred on the 4th of July 1904, in Larderello (Italy); the Prince Ginori-Conti was able to light up five light bulbs through a dynamo operated by a piston engine.

Since then remarkable steps have been made in the development of electric and thermal energy production through using geothermal resources. However, currently our "addiction" to using exhaustible fossil sources (such as petroleum, coal and methane) is still too strong.

The necessity of increasing the use of clean and renewable energy sources such as the geothermal, hydric, solar and eolian ones, is more and more important and urgent, in the age when oil reserves are diminishing. Geologists say that the peak of oil production could be in a few decades, after that it will be decreasing, so that a crisis will be irremediable.

Nowadays in Tuscany the geothermal source can cover about  25% of electricity needs. An important centre for geothermal energy is the Larderello area, in the very South of Pisa Province.