In June 2018, the Ministry of Economic Development - DGISSEG (General Directorate for Infrastructures and Safety of Energy and Geomineral Systems) and Politecnico have established the Competence Center SEASTAR - Sustainable Energy Applied Sciences, Technology & Advanced Research, with the aim of carrying out studies, applied research and technological innovation activities within the institutional activities of the Directorate and supporting technology transfer to the Italian industrial sector. In 2020, SEASTAR was joined by the Italian Institute of Technology Foundation.

Currently, the Center acts as a center for aggregation and integration of the skills already present in Politecnico di Torino, in the Italian Institute of Technology – Center for Sustainable Future Technologies on the topics of conversion of depleted hydrocarbon fields, underground storage of fluids, and safety of hydrocarbon production and fluids stored underground, especially offshore. Since 2021, the Directorate is under the Ministry of Ecologic Transition.
SEASTAR is committed to provide a significant contribution to energy transition towards a low-carbon future by developing cutting-edge applied research and supporting technological innovation at the national and international level based on strong theoretical competences and extended laboratory facilities.
Awareness of the ongoing climate change has led to the identification of the need to drastically reduce CO2 emissions, responsible for atmospheric pollution and increase in the global temperature of the planet and for the most part generated by some industrial processes and the combustion of fossil fuels. Therefore, climate change immediately recalls the energy challenge, which should however be divided into two major themes: that of the "energy transition" and that of the production of "green energy".
Green Energy
The latter evokes the use of renewable sources that guarantee a sustainable future from an environmental but also from an economic standpoint, less noble but equally important, and targets a not near future, considering that some of the most populous countries still rely on coal as the main source of energy, that oil is still the most widely used fuel in transport and that the transition to new energy resources also requires the availability of new infrastructures and new distribution networks. Furthermore, currently renewable sources such as solar, geothermal or hydroelectric energy can only partially meet the needs of modern society, nor should it be forgotten that also these technologies produce emissions and environmental impact.
Energy transition
A concrete opportunity for the use of hydrogen as a fuel and for the large-scale reuse of the captured CO2 together with hydrogen is represented by the depleted hydrocarbon reservoirs, adapting the knowledge already acquired and the technologies already developed in the oil & gas. The possibility of temporary storage in depleted reservoirs in fact plays a strategic role in energy supply both for the quantities involved and because it allows compensation between gas supply and demand. Along this line, existing plants - in particular offshore - which are operating on depleted fields can be converted into temporary storages of methane and hydrogen and / or CO2 mixtures with a view to their reuse. Permanent storage of CO2 underground, both in depleted hydrocarbon reservoirs and in deep saline aquifers, to reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere is a solution already tested on industrial pilot plants.
Energy transition