The political ecology of conflicts on wind energy. A case study in Catalonia

Christos Zografos, Sergi Saladié

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The study explores reasons behind conflicts regarding the installation of wind farms in Terra Alta, a rural county in Catalonia. Our study identifies three main causes of conflict. First, and in accordance to the coceptual framework of political ecology, the conflict forms part of a more generalised conflict regarding the «macro-concentration» of energy-generating plants in the south of Catalonia, which produce economic benefits for Catalonia's centre (e.g. Bar- celona). Secondly, the landscape impact of wind farm projects clashes with local initiatives that seek to promote landscape as a valuable asset capable of sustaining life in Terra Alta. Finally, power imbalances in the wind energy planning and decision-making system block the inclusion of locally-important values as decision-making criteria and this also generates conflict. For a sustainable development of wind energy, the importance of wind capacity as a principal criterion for deciding wind farm location should be re-considered and the negotiation of benefits' distribution from wind farms should be conducted in the most open and tranparent possible ways.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-192
JournalDocuments d' Analisi Geografica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • Catalonia
  • Environmental conflict
  • Political ecology
  • Wind energy


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