Vito “Lord of the Wind” Nicastri was arrested in September, 2010 for mafia ties. The Italian executive is charged with laundering money through wind and solar projects. Assets totaling 1.5 billion euros, including 43 wind and solar companies have been seized by Italian law enforcements.
So far, Sicily hosts 30 wind farms, with another 60 underway. And locals are upset that roads are left unrepaired while giant turbines hover over the island’s windswept hills—with mafiosos and politicians pocketing the profits. Some scofflaws have been arrested for bribing local officials with cash and chic cars, and last fall, 15 people were arrested in a scam involving the pilfering of 30 million in EU funds. Some installations have reported dubious wattage generation claims. Meanwhile, Italy pays the highest rate per wind-generated kilowatt hour in the world: 180 euros. The arrest of Italy’s head of its National Wind Energy Association surely does not help on the public relations front.
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