(2020) Between the 3rd and 23th October 2020, a ship from Germany was blocked in the port of Sami, on the island of Kefalonia. Several hundred residents occupied the pier day and night, opposing the unloading of 4 wind turbines and forcing the cargo to head towards mainland Greece. The massive energy conversion program carried out by the Mitsotakis government is an attractive opportunity for the revival of Greek GDP but, at the same time, it has enormous repercussions on the landscape and on society. The target is to turn Greece into an "energy hub" capable of exporting energy to other European countries, with the double advantage of diversifying an economy highly dependent on the tourism sector. The 67 GW produced from "renewable" sources by 2030 is a very realistic forecast in the light of the agreements signed until a few months ago and would exceed the minimum limit set by the EU by about ten times.
But the road is far from being downhill: the confiscation of private land and the contracts, in record time, for multimillion-euro projects in parthneship with foreign companies is meeting increasingly compact opposition from the inhabitants of the affected areas. The thousands of turbines required are concentrated in mountain areas and islands, places where the landscape and the environment play a fundamental role for those who live there. The installation of a turbine, about a hundred meters high, implies the leveling of the mountain ridge, the construction of a large network of roads for the arrival of heavy vehicles and a deep concrete pouring that will remain forever. "The environment cannot be saved by destroying the environment" is one of the phrases repeated by those who are convinced that the sustainability of wind energy must be strongly questioned. On the island of Evia, where approximately half of all the country's energy production should be concentrated, the first cemeteries already exist. Turbines have a useful life of around 25 years and, as they are not made from recyclable materials, they are dumped in huge landfills or, more simply, abandoned on site. Recent legislation allows the works to start in about 3 months from the presentation of the project, almost totally excludes the opinion of the communities and allows the construction everywhere, even in areas with special European protection Natura 2000.
The absence of real regulation is worrisome for its short and long-term effects. In Kefalonia, the inhabitants are convinced, supported by the studies of some researchers, that the terrible floods of recent years have increased in frequency and devastation due to the hydrogeological upheavals that the turbines have brought. In fact the excavated materials left in piles in the mountains would have been dumped downstream very easily by heavy rains. In the forests of Evia, dozens of fires broke out near the high-tension cables needed to carry electricity. In addition, the main destinations of alternative tourism are threatened by the expansion, beyond the current limits of the law, of wind farms and their proximity to some inhabited centers has led several people to leave their place of birth, disturbed by noise and by light pollution.
The support of the local population is often sought through the payment of money by construction companies in favor of small municipalities, but the increasingly massive presence of MAT (the Greek riot police) during the unloading operations and the installation of turbines speaks volumes of a deep gap between authorities, citizens and within public opinion itself.