‘Accumulation by Wind Energy’

Wind Energy Development as a Capitalist Trojan Horse in Crete, Greece and Oaxaca, Mexico

  • Zoi Christina Siamanta University of the Aegean
  • Alexander Dunlap University of Oslo
Keywords: wind energy, green economy, Crete, Oaxaca, green grabbing, climate change

Abstract

Wind parks are widely propagated as ‘a solution’ or in many ways as ‘a gift’ to mitigate climate change and instigate economic growth, which should be ‘rolled inside community gates’ through new legislation enabling investments. This paper dissects two experiences of wind energy development in Crete, Greece and Oaxaca, Mexico, exploring key commonalities and differences. It demonstrates that land/green grabbing, but more specifically ‘accumulation by wind energy’, is taking place in both regions. The specific processes and outcomes of ‘accumulation by wind energy’ differ according to the socio-political and ecological context of each case. There are, however, various similarities in logics, methods and strategies facilitating accumulation by wind energy that reveal defining features and similar outcomes. Wind energy development in Crete and Oaxaca is continuing the existing trajectory of energy extraction companies, resulting in an intensification of existing income-inequality, ecological degradation and social conflict, whilst spreading coercive cultural change. Based on these cases and critical (wind park) literature, we argue, that in actuality wind energy development represents a ‘Trojan horse’ for capitalism’s ongoing growth intensifying socio-ecological crisis through ‘accumulation by wind energy’. Wind parks serve as ‘Trojan horses’ for, amongst others, corporate land grabbing and temporarily mediating capitalism’s key contradictions.

Author Biographies

Zoi Christina Siamanta, University of the Aegean

Zoi Christina Siamanta (first author) received her PhD in Human Geography from Birkbeck University of London. Her doctoral research, grounded on the field of political ecology, examines green energy production in post-crisis Greece. Her research has focused on Renewable Energy Resources (RES), ‘the green economy’, the neoliberalisation of nature, green grabbing and socio-ecological struggles. She has previously published in the Journal of Political Ecology.

Alexander Dunlap, University of Oslo

Alexander Dunlap (second author) is a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Doctoral fieldwork researched the social impact and conflict generated by wind energy development in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec region of Oaxaca, Mexico. This has led to research in Germany, Peru and France, looking at the material, company and financial relationships linking fossil fuel and mineral extraction industries with renewable energy development. Alexander has previously published in the journals: Anarchist Studies, Review of Social Economy, Geopolitics, Journal of Peasant Studies, Human Geography, Capitalism, Nature, Socialism, Forum of Social Economy, Political Geography, NACLA: The Report on the Americas, the International Journal of Human Right and a recent paper in the Journal of Political Ecology titled, ‘Insurrection for Land, Sea and Dignity in Álvaro Obregón, Mexico’.

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Published
2019-09-12
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