The Italian Mafia is Making Money with Wind Power

Photo: The Godfather
Update: Italian Renewable Energy Exec Arrested for Mafia Ties
Cosa Nostra Goes Green
It seems like the mob has discovered that there's money to be made with wind power in Italy. The mafia is up to its usual tricks: fraud, extortion, bribery, money laundering, etc. Police wiretaps even caught an alleged mafioso telling his wife: "Not one turbine blade will be built in Mazara unless I agree to it." Read on for more details.

wind turbine construction photo

Photo: Wikipedia, CC
In Italy, for example, power from wind farms is sold at a guaranteed rate of €180 per kwh - the highest rate in the world. In a country where the Mafia has years of expertise at buying corrupt politicians and intimidating rivals, the result is perhaps inevitable, creating a new breed of entrepreneur known as the "lords of the wind".

Around 30 wind farms have been built in Sicily, with another 60 planned, often to the anger of local people, who say they blight an otherwise picturesque landscape. Dino Leggio, 33, a barman in Corleone, claimed that many of the turbines that now dotted the island made money only for politicians and the Mafia. [...]

Last year, detectives launched a major investigation into suspicions that Mafia clans had colluded with corrupt businessmen and local politicians to secure control of a project to construct wind turbines in the Trapani area of western Sicily. (source)

But Italy's not the only place where there is renewable energy fraud. High guaranteed rates for electricity produced from clean sources are making some wind and solar farms claiming that they are producing more power than is the case. There's a solar farm in Spain that was claiming to be producing electricity at night. After officials looked into it, it turned out that they were using diesel generators...

Now of course, criminals are present in every industry, and these bad apples represent just a small fraction of the total. But still, well-intentioned investors and governments should be extra careful about where they are putting their money.

Via The Telegraph
More on Wind Power
Europe's Largest Onshore Wind Farm to Expand to 539 Megawatts
More Pumped Hydro Storage Could Help Wind & Solar Power
Google Energy Signs 20-Year, 114 MW Wind Power Contract
Good Move! Google Invests $38.8 Million in Two North Dakota Wind Farms

Related Content on