Movement against industrial Renewable Energy Resources (RES) in Chios, Greece

Windfarms of Iberdrola coming up on the Greek island, disturbing bird population and migration but also increasing pressure on seabed due to transmission cables.


Description

The plans for the installation of industrial RES on the North Aegean islands were first presented in 2006. At that time there was an intense reaction by the local communities and the planed project was never realized. But in March 2012 the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change (YPEKA) set in public consultation the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the creation of wind farms in Chios, along with relevant projects in two more neighboring islands of the North Aegean (Lesvos and Limnos).

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Basic Data
NameMovement against industrial Renewable Energy Resources (RES) in Chios, Greece
CountryGreece
ProvinceNorth Aegean Region
SiteChios Island
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Land acquisition conflicts
Windmills
Specific CommoditiesElectricity
Ecosystem Services
Project Details and Actors
Project Details7 wind farms

75 windmills (GAMESA EOLICA 680 2 MW) with 80 m diameter, 67 m high and 253 tn weigh

150 MW power

Construction of 1 acre court per windmill

48 km new roads opening ups

Widening in 3 km length

65 km of excavation for pit cable

Construction of 9 buildings

110 acres for permanent deposit of 145,000 m3 excavations [8, 9]

The wind farms area comprises 283 hectares of pastures, 426 hectares of sparse vegetation, 2 hectares of sclerophyllous vegetation and 26 hectares of agricultural land [1]
Project Area (in hectares)737
Level of Investment (in USD)295,154.99$ for the wind farms 245,882.00$ for the interconnection cable Chios-Lesvos [9]
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Potential Affected Population51,390
Start Date22/06/2006
Company Names or State EnterprisesRokas Aioliki North Aegean AVEE (Rokas ) from Greece
Iberdrola from Spain
Relevant government actorsMinistry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change (YPEKA); Region of North Aegean; Municipality of Chios; Central Archaeological Council
International and Financial InstitutionsEuropean Union (EU)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersOrganization Committee of Eressos; Citizens and Windmills; Citizen Initiative for Sustainable Development of Limnos; Citizens Initiative for Energy Issues in Lesvos; Inter-Island Coordinating Network from Limnos, Lesvos, Chios; Hellenic Ornithological Society; Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Trade unions
Recreational users
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Public campaigns
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Fires, Noise pollution, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Land dispossession
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Outcome
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCorruption
Land demarcation
Strengthening of participation
Under negotiation
Application of existing regulations
Development of AlternativesGiven that the consultation process was ostensible, the information provided was inadequate and the EIA had serious deficiencies, the civil society movement asked for a real consultation process where all the alternatives would be examined.

Chios’ Citizens and Windmills asked for the beginning of a debate on the island's energy planning, focusing on energy saving issues, as well as on the development of small scale RES that won’t destroy the landscape and will respond to local society needs.

Furthermore, they don’t disagree with the interconnection of the islands with continental Greece, but they insist that the cable should not be a company’s private property, as it is planned.
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.The project’s EIA has been approved, but the decision by the Central Archaeological Council is still pending. In addition to this, as the financial situation in Greece is very unstable, press articles mentioned a temporary suspension of the investment because of the delay of interconnection of the islands to the continental Greece grid [10]. But nothing is clear yet.
Sources and Materials
Legislations

European Commission, 2000, European Landscape Convention
[click to view]

European Commission, 1992, Habitats Directive
[click to view]

References

[9] Rokas Aioliki North Greece, 2012, Environmental Impact Assessment, Chapter 2: Non-technical summary, Chapter 3: Project’s goal and importance

Pavlis E. & Terkenli S., 2012, Report on the large scale wind farms in the North Aegean small islands, Geography Dept, University of the Aegean
[click to view]

[3] Ombudsman, 2012, Completeness of the EIA for the Wind Power Generation Plants on Chios – Limnos – Lesvos
[click to view]

[7] WWF Hellas, 2012, WWF Hellas’ notes on YPEKA’s Report on drafting the support mechanism of RES
[click to view]

Mark Duchamp , 2012, Birds and windmills – Birds and bats behavior in wind farms areas
[click to view]

Links

[1] Chios’ Citizens and Windmills, 2012, Paper presented in the workshop organizes by Chios’ Citizens and Windmills in Omirion, 9 May 2012,
[click to view]

[2] Chios’ Citizens and Windmills, 2012-2014
[click to view]

[4] Tympas Aristotle, 2012, Chios, Lesvos and Limnos Islands do not have “high value” according to Roka’s “assessment”
[click to view]

[5] Hellenic Ornithological Society and Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage, 2012,Objections Hellenic Ornithological Society and Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage
[click to view]

[6] Tsouchlis Dimitris, 2012, Notes from the Special Ornithological Studies of Wind Farms in Chios
[click to view]

[8] Makridakis Yannis, 2012, For the debate on the windmills
[click to view]

[10] Tympas Aristotle, 2013, "Beyond 2023": The "sudden transfer" of Iberdrola plans in the future
[click to view]

Chios’ Citizens and Windmills, 2012, Online petition against Iberdrola – Rokas windturbines
[click to view]

Media Links

Video from the information event and debate on Ibedrola-Rokas windmills, organized by Chios’ Citizens and Windmills, 2012 (A)
[click to view]

Video from the information event and debate on Ibedrola-Rokas windmills, organized by Chios’ Citizens and Windmills, 2012 (B)
[click to view]

Video from the information event and debate on Ibedrola-Rokas windmills, organized by Chios’ Citizens and Windmills, 2012 (C)
[click to view]

Vogiatzis Stratis, 2012, Documentary: One place, a thousand rocks, (A)
[click to view]

Vogiatzis Stratis, 2012, Documentary: One place, a thousand rocks, (B)
[click to view]

Vogiatzis Stratis, 2012, Documentary: One place, a thousand rocks, (C)
[click to view]

Video from the Chios’ Citizens and Windmills presentation during the session of the Regional Authority of North Aegean council, 2012
[click to view]

Other Documents

Poster Industrial RES
[click to view]

Poster Poster calling for a walk in the area where Industrial RES are planned to be located
[click to view]

Organized walk in the area where industrial RES are planned to be located (1) Organized walk in the area where industrial RES are planned to be located (1)
[click to view]

Organized walk in the area where industrial RES are planned to be located (2) Organized walk in the area where industrial RES are planned to be located (2)
[click to view]

Information Event Chios' Citizens and Windmills Information Event 31 March 2012
[click to view]

Map imaging of windfarms in Aipos Mountain Map imaging of windfarms in Aipos Mountain - Chios
[click to view]

Comic script on Industrial RES Comic script on Industrial RES: "Reforestation began in Chios"
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorErmioni Frezouli, Geography Department - Harokopio University Athens (HUA).
Last update22/02/2016
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