The University of Arizona

Building a green economy of low carbon: the Greek post-crisis experience of photovoltaics and financial 'green grabbing'

Zoi Christina Siamanta


Abstract Under the global rhetoric of 'the green economy' Renewable Energy Resources (RES) projects have proliferated across the world. This article examines the growth of photovoltaic projects in post-crisis Greece, grounded in a green energy discourse. The aim is to provide insights into how green economies are built and what new appropriations they (might) entail. It is based on a Foucauldian oriented discourse analysis, in depth semi-structured interviews and review of a variety of other sources. The article argues that justificatory discourses for green growth implicated in 'green grabbing' involve the complex interplay of neoliberal and disciplinary 'environmentalities.' These seek to construct 'green economy' entrepreneurs and compliant subjects. A relatively undocumented and understudied aspect of green grabs is the appropriation of public and private financial resources for photovoltaic projects, with significant negative impacts on livelihoods. In Greece, this has resulted in the accumulation of capital by a few large RES companies, as well as significant impacts on the livelihoods of domestic and small business electricity consumers and small/medium photovoltaic investors through debt. Key words: Greece, green economy, photovoltaics, green grabbing, environmentality, Foucault, green energy

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