Crime, Law and Social Change

, Volume 59, Issue 3, pp 319–339 | Cite as

Green energy and black economy: mafia investments in the wind power sector in Italy

  • Stefano Caneppele
  • Michele Riccardi
  • Priscilla Standridge


In recent years, the EU has supported actions to develop the green economy. Among these, incentives to sustain the growth of the wind power (WP) sector were welcomed as strategic for promoting environmental sustainability. This paper argues that the enthusiasm in supporting the green economy, without a preliminary assessment for crime opportunities, could end up fueling the black one. In particular, looking at the Italian case, the intention to facilitate wind farm construction provided remarkable (economic and procedural) incentives but neglected the issue of crime infiltration in the legitimate economy. Consequently, investments in wind farms also became a very lucrative business for organized crime (OC) groups. Through an analysis of the WP sector in Italy, this paper aims to show that, in territories characterized by a significant presence and control of OC groups, regulation could have an adverse effect providing opportunities for OC infiltrations in the legitimate economy. In particular this paper discusses whether investments in the WP sector in Italy are more likely in those regions with higher levels of OC presence and analyzes the role played by OC groups in cases of criminal infiltrations in the WP sector.


Wind Power Organize Crime Wind Farm Italian Region Organize Crime Group 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors would like to thank Ms. Alessia Remmerswaal for the contribution provided during her MA Thesis.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefano Caneppele
    • 1
  • Michele Riccardi
    • 1
  • Priscilla Standridge
    • 1
  1. 1.Università Cattolica di Milano – TranscrimeMilanItaly

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