Industrial-scale wind energy in Italian southern Apennine: territorio grabbing, value extraction and democracy

Samadhi Lipari, University of Leeds, School of Geography

At the end of 2017, 5 percent of electricity consumed in Italy came from wind and 97 percent of the installed capacity was located in the South, of which the four provinces of Benevento, Avellino, Foggia and Potenza hosted 43 per cent, covering 2.7 per cent of national consumption. Such a process has induced transformations affecting (i) historical contextualised socio-ecological patterns as a consequence of the inclusion into value extraction chains and (ii) formal and substantive democratic dynamics at the local level.Th is article analyses the penetration of industrial-scale wind energy in such provinces, framing it within the debate around capitalism’s ‘green’ turn, extractivism and environ-mentality. The evidence base rests on a case study approach.

A five-month fieldwork research has been conducted, between November 2017 and April 2018, through a mix of quantitative and qualitative techniques, combining primary and secondary sources.The former are 26 semi-structured interviews with public officials, experts, inhabit-ants and activists, each category covering one fourth of the sample, and participant observation. The latter include academic literature, institutional and expert reports and press articles, both printed and online.

Descriptive statistic on data from official sources was also used and further elaborated.The case study syntetic analysis is here discussed, by first giving an account of the investment penetration, then describing the extractive mechanisms in terms of practices and actors. The last two sections explore effects on territorial democracy and advance some analytical innovation.


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University of Florence

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