Wind Farm Installation in the Protected Area of Karaburuni Peninsula, Albania

In the beginning of 2008 the Albanian Government granted approval for the construction of a large (500 MW) wind farm in the protected area of Karaburuni Peninsula.


Description

In the beginning of 2008 the Albanian Government granted approval for the construction of a large (500 MW) wind farm installation in the protected area of Karaburuni Peninsula. A license for its construction was granted to Moncada Construzioni, an Italian firm, without the required prior public information process. The Karaburuni peninsula presently has the status of Managed Nature Reserve (IUCN category IV) and it has been proposed to be upgraded to a National Park by many environmental policy documents, one of them the 2006 GEF MedWetCoast project. An NGO coalition led by the Ekolevizja Network opposes the decision of the Albanian government to open this protected area to development. The Albanian government it points out, is openly disregarding without due explanation, all of its previous commitments to citizens and the donor community to protect this biodiversity hotspot and coastal landscape of outstanding natural beauty. A BIRN investigation in December 2008 showed that the project risked wrecking one of Europe’s last unspoiled environments by allowing the construction of a wind farm on a coastal nature reserve and on national park territory. The decision to grant the land and the subsequent environmental permit were considered illegal under Albanian laws aimed at protecting natural reserves. Environmental groups are outraged over the Environment Ministry's decision to issue a permit for the wind farm on the Karaburun peninsula – the site of the nature reserve park – as this is one of the most pristine sites in the Mediterranean. The project will include the construction of a transmission line running from the port of Vlora in Albania to the Italian port of Brindisi. A 400kV power cable, stretching 145km under the Adriatic at a depth of over 900 metres, will allow electricity to be transmitted in either direction. The interconnection line and the wind farm have an estimated cost of 1.25 billion euros.

Basic Data
NameWind Farm Installation in the Protected Area of Karaburuni Peninsula, Albania
CountryAlbania
Provincedistrict of Vlorë
SiteVlora
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Establishment of reserves/national parks
Land acquisition conflicts
Windmills
Specific CommoditiesElectricity
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe project, which has already been approved by the Albanian government, and built by an Italian firm, would have a total generating capacity of 500 megawatts. For comparison Europe’s biggest onshore wind farm, currently under construction in Scotland, will have a generating capacity of 322 MW. The interconnection line with Italy and the wind farm have an estimated cost of 1.25 billion euros.
Project Area (in hectares)6,200
Level of Investment (in USD)1,200,000,000
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date01/01/2008
Company Names or State Enterprises Moncada Energy Group from Italy
Relevant government actorsThe government, Ministry of Environment, Albanian Energy Regulatory Agency
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersAlbanian NGO “Mjaft Movement”, NGO coalition led by the Ekolevizja Network
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingLocal ejos
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment of a network/collective action
Media based activism/alternative media
Street protest/marches
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
Potential: Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession
Outcome
Project StatusUnknown
Do you consider this as a success?No
Sources and Materials
References

Wind power in Albania – Albania to Build Major Wind Farm, REVE (Wind Energy and Electric Vehicle Magazine)
[click to view]

Albania Approves Controversial Wind Farm
[click to view]

Opposition Grows to Albania Wind Project
[click to view]

Links

Balkanblog.org
[click to view]

A Grandiose Project in Albania to Save Italy From the Energy Crisis
[click to view]

Lucrative energy deals...
[click to view]

Italy and Albania to sign energy deals (Financial times)
[click to view]

Albanian NGO protests against Italian energy projects
[click to view]

Media Links

Initial news on the project, 2008
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorKatarina; Focus, association for sustainable development; [email protected]
Last update02/04/2017
Comments