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Government Confiscates Sicilian Mafia’s Lucrative Green Energy Assets as Renewable Energy Booms in Italy

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Italy has become the Hottest Solar Market in 2010

Italy has been one of the fastest growing Solar Markets in the World with High Returns for Green Investors.A Combination of Sunshine,High Electricity Prices and Lucrative Government Subsidies has made Italy the best Solar Investment Destination in 2010.The Country will probably grow by 150% in 2010 to more than 1 GW of Solar Energy Installations.Investors are reaping impressive government guaranteed returns from their Green Investments.A recent reduction in Feed in Tariffs for Solar Energy is unlikely to reduce the Solar Growth in 2011 as well.

Italy Seizes $1.9 Billion in Mafia-Linked Assets – NY Times

The Italian police seized $1.9 billion in assets belonging to a Sicilian businessman linked to the Mafia in the country’s biggest blow against organized crime, Italy’s interior minister said Tuesday.The seized assets included more than 100 properties around Sicily, 43 companies operating mainly in the wind- and solar-power industry — some with headquarters in Luxembourg — as well as luxury cars, a 46-foot catamaran, bank accounts and securities.“This is the proof of the fact that the Mafia is dynamic and able to interpret the new needs of our society,” said Francesco Forgione, President of the parliamentary Anti-Mafia Commission in the previous government and author of the book “Mafia Exports.” “They all used to work a lot in construction and now the Camorra operates in the waste business” — he added, referring to the Neapolitan crime syndicate — “whereas the Mafia’s in the alternative-energy business.”

Wind Energy which has been Growing Strongly in the Past Decade attracted the Mafia

While Solar Energy is a new kid on the block,Wind Energy has been growing very strongly in the past Decade.Italy was rethinking its Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) Scheme to remove price guarantees but at the last minute it changed its mind.Wind is being installed at a rate of 1 GW per year in the last few years.The Italian Mafia has latched onto this lucrative business muscling their way in.The Sicilian Mafia is said to own a large portion of the country Wind Farm Assets and the $1.9 Billion Seizure of assets from a high flying businessman is proof of this.43 Companies mainly operating in the Solar and Wind Segments were seized by the state in one of the biggest swoops against Organized Crime.Wind Turbines involve acquisition of land,local permits and subsidy grants which require a lot of organization and local clout.The Sicilian Mafia is uniquely place to control and organize the setting up of Wind Farms.With a government guaranteed return of Euro 18c/KwH,the Wind Subsidy in Italy is one of the highest in the world.Compare this to the Rest of the World where Wind Subsidies get around $0.10/KwH.Note Criminals have not only been involved in Italy,but there are also reports of nefarious activity in Renewable Energy in Bulgaria,Spain,Canary Islands etc.

Mafia cash in on lucrative EU wind farm handouts – especially in Sicily – Telegraph

Attracted by the prospect of generous grants designed to boost the use of alternative energies, the so-called “eco Mafia” has begun fraudulently creaming off millions of euros from both the Italian government and the European Union.

And nowhere has the industry’s reputation become more tarnished than Sicily, where windmills now dot the horizon in Mafia strongholds like Corleone, the town better known as the setting for the Godfather films.

“Nothing earns more than a wind farm,” said Edoardo Zanchini, an environmental campaigner who has investigated Mafia infiltration of the industry. “Anything that creates wealth interests the Mafia.”

It is not just Italian criminals, however, who have spotted the potential for corruption. Recent research by Kroll, the international corporate security firm, has discovered examples all over Europe of so-called “clean energy” schemes being used to to line criminals’ pockets rather than save the planet. Some involve windmills that stand derelict or are simply never built, while others are used to launder profits from other crime enterprises.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.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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