Windbag of Aeolus


«Windbag of Aeolus»
«Ο Ασκός του Αιόλου»



About the documentary, in short

Director, journalist Nasim Alatras You cannot conceive the beauty or the ugliness of this world when you are observing it from a distance. You have to approach, dive into its depths and explore… It is only then that awareness and objectiveness are acquired.

Green growth was introduced to Greece round the early ‘80s, when E.U. directives applied to Greek Government energy policy led to the installation of the first wind farm. Since then the number of wind farms has been increasing at an immense rate. The incentive for this investigation was the observation of wind turbines being inconsiderately dispersed across invaluable regions of the mainland and the islands of Greece, in the name of clean, “green energy”.

The main objective of this documentary is to shed light on the environmental, financial and social consequences of this policy and the aftermath of the so-called “high priority” investments supported by huge subsidies.


Ikaria with towers and propellers While following this objective numerous questions were raised. Is this energy policy the essence of green growth and if so, could this be considered a truly sustainable form development?

When examining the environmental aspects, one could wonder about the following:

  • Which are the spatial criteria for selection of areas of installation?
  • Under what kind of environmental assessment sites like forests, conservation areas, sites near traditional settlements or historic sites are approved as suitable?
  • Why are those environmental assessments carried out mostly by private companies and not by scientists, and how are their results validated?
  • Which are, if there are any, the obligations of the wind farm owners considering the removal of the turbines and the restoration of the environment and who sees that it is actually carried out?
  • In other words, is this really a strategy or a predatory way of harnessing renewable energy sources? Could green energy under these circumstances ever be actually “green”?

profit Such an obvious lack of strategic planning raises more questions considering the financial aspects of the matter.

  • Whom do these “strategic investments” really serve?
  • Under what legislation is the constitutionally defined meaning of sustainability being annulled, when permits are being issued inconsiderately and subsidies are given out to one-person companies and affiliates of the same key companies in the energy field?
  • Why isn’t there any consideration whatsoever of the actual energy needs of the country?
  • Why aren’t those companies fined when they are not meeting their dept to land owners?
  • Or, why is the ownership status scouted?

Risks & Challenges

No to the giant wind turbine plant on mt Atheras Τhe strength, support and motivation for this 16-month journey of searching, filming and visiting the farthest corners of Greece came from the people of this land, people who have been conveniently silenced. This raises the biggest question of all:

  • Why are all the above taking place while communities around Greece are provided with no official information at all?
  • Why are the views of Municipalities totally disregarded in decision making? Why are their arguments, protests, petitions passed by?
  • Is this really where the birthplace of Democracy ended up to?

As a production team we decided 16 months ago to open the windbag of green growth in Greece and separate the lies from the truth. We did so being fully aware of the risks involved and while knowing well enough the power of the key players in the energy field in Greece…



Ο «Ασκός του Αιόλου» με λίγα λόγια


Director, journalist Nasim Alatras Δεν μπορείς να συλλάβεις την ομορφιά ή την ασχήμια αυτού του κόσμου όταν τον παρατηρείς από μακριά. Πρέπει να τον πλησιάσεις, να βουτήξεις μέσα και να τον εξερευνήσεις… Μόνο τότε αποκτάς πλήρη συναίσθηση και αντικειμενικότητα. Ο όρος και η πρακτική εφαρμογή της πράσινης ανάπτυξης εμφανίστηκαν στην Ελλάδα τη δεκαετία του ’80, όταν η ενεργειακή πολιτική των Ελληνικών κυβερνήσεων, καθοδηγούμενη από τις Ευρωπαϊκές οδηγίες, συναίνεσε στη δημιουργία του πρώτου αιολικό πάρκου. Από τότε ο αριθμός τους αυξάνεται με φρενήρη ρυθμό. Η παρουσία πολυάριθμων ανεμογεννητριών που αλόγιστα φυτεύονται στο όνομα της «πράσινης ενέργειας» σε ανεκτίμητες περιοχές της ηπειρωτικής και νησιωτικής Ελλάδας, αποτέλεσε το έναυσμα της έρευνάς μας. Ο κύριος στόχος του ντοκιμαντέρ είναι να φέρει στην επιφάνεια τις πραγματικές περιβαλλοντικές, οικονομικές και κοινωνικές συνέπειες της εφαρμογής αυτής της πολιτικής και τις «παρενέργειες» τον αποκαλούμενων «στρατηγικών επενδύσεων» που επιδοτούνται αδρά.


Ikaria with towers and propellers Ακολουθώντας το στόχο αυτό γεννήθηκαν πολυάριθμα ερωτήματα. Αυτή είναι τελικά η ουσία της πράσινης ανάπτυξης και αν ναι, υπό ποία έννοια χαρακτηρίζονται βιώσιμες οι εφαρμογές τέτοιων πρακτικών; Σε ότι αφορά το περιβάλλον ορισμένα μόνο από τα βασικά ερωτήματα  που προκύπτουν είναι τα εξής:

  • Ποια είναι επιτέλους τα χωροταξικά κριτήρια επιλογής των περιοχών εγκατάστασης;
  • Τι είδους και πόσης αξιοπιστίας περιβαλλοντικές μελέτες «επιστημονικά» συναινούν στην επιλογή δασών, προστατευόμενων περιοχών NATURA, σημείων σε απόσταση αναπνοής από παραδοσιακούς οικισμούς και κατοικημένες περιοχές ή ιστορικούς χώρους, ως περιοχών κατάλληλων για εγκατάσταση;
  • Γιατί αυτές οι περιβαλλοντικές μελέτες, που συνοδεύουν τις αιτήσεις αδειοδότησης, πραγματοποιούνται κυρίως από ιδιωτικές εταιρείες και όχι από το άρτια καταρτισμένο επιστημονικό προσωπικό των Πανεπιστημίων της χώρας και με ποιον τρόπο ή από ποιο φορέα ελέγχεται η αξιοπιστία των αποτελεσμάτων τους;
  • Ποιες είναι οι υποχρεώσεις των ιδιοκτητών αιολικών πάρκων σε σχέση με την απομάκρυνση των ανεμογεννητριών μετά το τέλος της λειτουργικής περιόδου τους και την αποκατάσταση του περιβάλλοντος;
  • Ποιος ελέγχει ότι εργασίες αποκατάστασης όντως πραγματοποιούνται;
  • Με άλλα λόγια, είναι αυτό στρατηγική και σχέδιο ανάπτυξης, ή απλά ένας ληστρικός τρόπος εκμετάλλευση κοινωνικών αγαθών όπως ο αέρας, το νερό και ο ήλιος;
  • Πως θα μπορούσε ποτέ η “πράσινη ενέργεια” να είναι υπό αυτές τις συνθήκες πραγματικά «πράσινη»;

profit Η προφανέστατη έλλειψη στρατηγικού σχεδιασμού λοιπόν, δεν μπορούσε παρά να γεννήσει ακόμα περισσότερα ερωτήματα, ειδικά σε σχέση με το οικονομικό καθεστώς που επικρατεί στις «επενδύσεις» αυτές.

  • Ποιόν εξυπηρετούν στην πραγματικότητα αυτές οι «στρατηγικές επενδύσεις»;
  • Υπό ποια νομοθεσία καταργείται στην ουσία η συνταγματικά κατοχυρωμένη έννοια της βιωσιμότητας με την αδιάκριτη έγκριση αδειών και την συνεχή παροχή επιδοτήσεων σε εταιρείες του ενός ατόμου, ή σε θυγατρικές των ίδιων βασικών παικτών στον τομέα της ενέργειας, εγχώριων και ξένων;
  • Γιατί παραβλέπονται και αποτελούν δευτερεύον κριτήριο οι πραγματικές ενεργειακές ανάγκες της χώρας;
  • Υπάρχει κάποιος μηχανισμός προστασίας των ιδιοκτητών γης όταν δεν λαμβάνουν τα συμφωνηθέντα από τις εταιρείες για την ενοικίαση της γης τους;
  • ‘Η, για ποιόν ακριβώς λόγο το ιδιοκτησιακό καθεστώς περιοχών απαξιώνεται και αλλάζει εν μια νυκτί;


No to the giant wind turbine plant on mt Atheras Η  δύναμη για αυτό το 16μηνο ταξίδι μας προήλθε από τους ανθρώπους της χώρας αυτής που αποτέλεσαν και το ισχυρότερο κίνητρο, γιατί έχουν πολύ βολικά και επιμελέστατα αποσιωπηθεί. Και αυτή ακριβώς η παράμετρος γεννά το μεγαλύτερο ερώτημα από όλα:

  • Γιατί όλα τα παραπάνω συμβαίνουν ενώ οι Δήμοι και οι τοπικές κοινωνίες δεν λαμβάνουν απολύτως κανενός είδους επίσημη πληροφόρηση;
  • Γιατί οι απόψεις των Δημοτικών Συμβουλίων απαξιώνονται και παραβλέπονται κατά την λήψη των αποφάσεων;
  • Γιατί οι διαμαρτυρίες, οι φωνές των ανθρώπων αυτών αποσιωπούνται;
  • Εδώ κατέληξε τελικά η γενέτειρα της Δημοκρατίας;

Ως ομάδα παραγωγής αποφασίσαμε πριν 16 μήνες να ανοίξουμε τον Ασκό της πράσινης ανάπτυξης στην Ελλάδα και να ξεχωρίσουμε τα ψέματα από την αλήθεια. Το κάναμε έχοντας πλήρη συναίσθηση των κινδύνων που ελλοχεύουν και γνωρίζοντας πολύ καλά τη δύναμη των μεγάλων παικτών στον τομέα της ενέργειας στη χώρα…




 .Thursday December 1, 2016 - 10:37pm (EEST)

Ανεμογεννήτριες αλλά και δάση βελανιδιάς


 press for Greek

«I like wind turbines and yes, I can accept a few in Ikaria but I also want a lot of forests with oaks»

I had said once, oh poor innocent me, what an illusion! I should have known better! Under current conditions of tribal invasive capitalism, that cannot be done!


😞 😞 😞
Say No to 110 turbines in Ikaria


So I’ve changed my mind! The company’s plan is monstrous and disastrous for our island. I have copied and translated the petition against it and I am asking everybody to sign it!

Wind turbines and Ikaria: How a blessing turns into nightmare

Say No to 110 turbines in Ikaria In July, 2011 the Greek Regulatory Authority for Energy granted permission (RAE 877/11 / 15.07.2011) to the company IKAROS ANEMOS SA (affiliate of Mytilineos group) to install 110 mammoth 3 MW wind turbines on 28 square kilometers of Mt. Atheras in Ikaria island. The permit states that the turbines will be installed in the following sites of the ridge of Mt. Atheras of the Municipality of Ikaria: «Vigla – Kapsali – Podilia – Ypsonas – Kasmianos – Provatokefalas – Roukounas – Sarantiadon- Erifi – Koutalopetra – Varka – Pappou Logari – Seladia – Megalofos – Siamaki – Kliratia – Stasousa – Papoutsokriftis – Anavathres – Ranti – Stavri – Pounta – Pr. Ilias – Kako Katavasidi”. Their maximum height will be 150 meters and their wingspan will be 90 meters. The permit is expected to be valid for 25 years with a prevision for renewal for an additional 25-year time (50 years total).

After the issuance of the permit by RAE [15/07/2011] two legal proceedings against it were submitted: 1. by the Municipality Ikaria, following a unanimous decision of the City Council on 30/07/2011 to proceed against the RAE decision. 2. by Mr. Ilias Gianniris who also filed a proceeding to the Minister’s office (AP 5590 / 02.08.2011).

Public appeals against the wind turbines were issued by: 1. The NGO «Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation” 2. The Municipal faction «Laiki Syspeirosi Ikarias» (LAS Ikarias) 3. The Municipal faction «Autonomi Syspeirosi Politon Ikarias» (ASPI) 4. The «Kinisi Politon Evdilou» 5. The regional party «Eco Wind in the North Aegean Sea».

Some say that such investments (wind turbines) can close down a lignite mine. However, the same investor (Mytilineos) has publicly declared his interest in the lignite mine of Vevi (near Florina, northern mainland Greece) for 300 MW!

Case record

Say No to 110 turbines in Ikaria In the 1980s the National Electric Company (DEH) installed and operated seven 30-meter-high wind turbines in “Firi Aspa” above Ikaria’s capital, Agios Kirikos. Although they were very close to the main road, their aesthetic impression was positive. They looked like familiar technological constructions. They were capable of covering 12% of the energy needs of the island and they were in full function especially in August when energy consumption reached its peak.
To cover its own energy needs Ikaria does not need the new wind turbines.
The maximum capacity of the thermoelectric plant in Agios Kirikos is 12,5 KW, while a wind turbine installed by a private near the village of Perdiki produces an additional 600 KW.
The maximum estimated demand for electricity in Ikaria is 9 MW and that only in peak season (10 days around the Celebration of the Assumption in mid-August).


Say No to 110 turbines in Ikaria To apply the investment in discussion and have 110 wind turbines planted on the crests Mt. Atheras, the whole length of the ridge will have to be excavated, as seen in examples from other areas of Greece. Huge trucks will be needed to transport the parts of a 3 MW turbine, therefore, large roads will have to be built on the mountain.
Each 3 MW wind turbine weighs up to 380 tons without counting the weight of the foundations. These will have to be extremely strong. Each one will require an excavation of at least 16×16 meters large and at least 3 meters deep, as well as leveling and clearing of at least 2000 m2 of land around each turbine. For one-hundred and ten such foundations, the total of land which will be used for the investment is estimated to 220.000 m2!
One utility building will be needed for each wind turbine.
Finally, each wind turbine requires an average of about 14 km of cables on utility poles or in underground lines to connect the turbine to the substation. This means even more excavations on a length of many kilometers.
A large-sized building will be needed for the substation. This will be located near the shore at the point of connection with the undersea cable which will carry the electricity produced by the turbines to the mainland (Attica).
In the spots where the wind turbines are planned to be installed there are several protected areas NATURA2000 (SAC and SPA). (Source: and WWF: oikoskopio)
On the other hand, if the investment respects the protected areas, including the forest of Ranti, it is estimated that the space left will be sufficient for only 13 out of the scheduled 110 turbines.

The natural and cultural wealth of Ikaria is seriously threatened

In my blog: 'Thick with the eerie awe of the uncanny' The 110 turbines will be installed in fragile ecosystems and large areas of importance for bird life. The giant turbines set in rows on the ridge of Mt. Atheras will be visible from miles away. Their sight will drastically alter the unique insular landscape which is considered to be one of the greatest cultural assets of the Aegean islands.
The sites where the turbines are planned to be installed present several valuable features for Ikaria:

  • The unique ancient forest ecosystem «Forest of Randi»
  • The environmentally protected areas (NATURA 2000-HOS)
  • Areas of great cultural importance and long-aged historical value (Pounta, Kako Katavasidi, Papoutsokriftis, Erifi, etc.)
  • The famous historical pathways stretching on many kilometers around and across the ridge of Mt. Atheras
  • The famous stonewall barriers, the most important of which runs along the eastern part of the ridge
  • The precious water sources along and between the mountaintops

All these will be flattened for the sake of a private investment on public/municipal land (and perhaps pieces of private land as well), aiming at a profit for 25 or 50 years and making Ikaria looking like a giant porcupine sailing at sea.

Will there be benefits?

In my blog: 'Image from the flashflood of October, 2011 in Ikaria The famous countervailing fee which will be reaped by the Municipality of Ikaria is estimated that it will not exceed 1.7 million euros a year (K. Theophylaktos, information event about the project in Rahes, Ikaria, 08.22.2011).
Let us now compare this benefit with the cost of the disastrous torrential rainfall of October 2010 on the road network of Ikaria. A lot of the damage was caused by flooded secondary dirt roads letting out on the main network. The total cost of the damage was estimated to be of the order of 13 million euros.
Nobody knows how many such heavy rainfalls would occur over the next 25 or 50 years and how much damage they will cause. If the 110-wind-turbine project materializes in Ikaria, the clearing and flattening of the land for the foundations and the building of the roads will create immense surface water runoffs which will be added to the ones which caused the floods of October 2010.


In my blog: 'Sites of the planned 110 wind turbines in Ikaria To fill the information gap about the 110 wind turbine project in Ikaria, several gatherings were held in Rahes, Evdilos and Agios Kirikos by the Aftonomi Syspeirosi Politon Ikarias (ASPI) in August 2011. Unfortunately, the Municipality Ikaria, although they filed a proceeding against the investment, did not call the people to a special information gathering on the subject. Instead, they are in contact with the investor and they are holding discussions with him.
The people of Ikaria, the Ikarian community in general, as well as the visitors and lovers of the island do not have sufficient information on the effects of the planned massive project. Before we find ourselves in front of predetermined choices, we should react now.
Sign by pressing the SIGN THE PETITION

GoPetition, ΙΚΑΡΙΑ: ΥΠΟΓΡΑΦΟΥΜΕ ΚΑΤΑ ΤΩΝ 110 ΑΝΕΜΟΓΕΝΝΗΤΡΙΩΝ (we sign against the 110 wind turbines on Mt. Atheras in Ikaria





The final signed document will be as follows:

The undersigned, individuals and associations, are opposed to the installation of 110 wind turbines of total 330 MW on Mt. Atheras in Ikaria.
This project, if applied:

  • will turn Atheras into an industrial zone for a length of over 27 kilometers
  • will mean mass works of road building, excavations and land clearing and leveling for the foundations, transport, installation and maintenance of the turbines, as well as for the necessary utility poles, cables and buildings
  • will increase the vulnerability of Ikaria to the process of desertification and the consequent flashfloods, as the works will create open ground surfaces of tens of square kilometers
  • will destroy the Forest of Randi and other important wooded areas
  • The famous stonewall barriers, the most important of which runs along the eastern part of the ridge
  • will destroy a large part of the protected areas (NATURA2000 – Habitat of European Interest) located in western Ikaria as well and the PA located between Pounta and Kako Katavasidi
  • will destroy the habitats and nesting sites of the birds of Ikaria, which according to the Greek Ornithological Society, are of great importance
  • will reduce the vital productive areas of the inhabitants and downgrade the aesthetic value of Ikaria for several decades
  • will dramatically alter the landscape as the turbines will be placed in rows along the highest tops of the ridge and will be visible from everywhere
  • will drastically reduce the rising popularity of the hinterland of Ikaria to vacationers and it will cancel the strong potential of Ikaria for mountain tourism (hiking, mountain climbing, cultural touring) which tones up the economy of the small mountain villages

We believe that this investment is of a colonial nature and stands contrary to the interests of the island because:

  • it ignores the local people’s will
  • it is planned and developed without transparency, sharing of information and communicating with the inhabitants and the authorities of the island
  • it offers vague quid pro quos, as the current financial offer of the investor to the Municipality and the local community may be subject to change at any time or may not exist in the future, particularly under the present economic conditions in Greece
  • it is unrelated to the energy needs of Ikaria and aims only at the profitability of the investor
  • it flagrantly violates the principle of proportionality, as an island which needs an annual amount of only 9-12 MW is asked to contribute to the country’s energy objectives for the year 2020 with the excessive amount of 330 MW produced by this investment
  • it does not take into account the 25-year or 50-year economic loss from the delivery of tens of square kilometers of the mountain to private interests. Specifically, the proposed deal does not take into account the natural disasters eventually brought by the disruption of the hydrological cycle as well as the long-term effects on the economy of the island (depreciation of property and losses in the domains of beekeeping, sustainable animal breeding, food gathering, mountain tourism, etc.)
  • finally, because no one can guarantee that, after the expiry of the investment (that is, after 25 or 50 years), the natural environment will actually be restored and that the 110 wind turbines, together with their 110 reinforced concrete foundations, ancillary buildings and kilometers of cables will be removed and shipped out of the island at the expense of the investor

We are calling the Municipality of Ikaria to:

  • not accept this colonialist investment plan
  • not accept negotiations for siting in any location within the perimeter of the Forest of Ranti and other protected areas
  • to take action in finding and applying appropriate economic, social and environmental energy solutions compatible with Ikaria, possibly participating in joint-form enterprises by local investors in the fields of e.g. geothermal power and small sized RES

The signatures under this petition do not authorize anybody to accept possible future offers by the investor. Any further discussions on the matter should start from zero basis.

Sign by pressing the SIGN THE PETITION

 .Thursday August 19, 2011 - 10:37pm (EEST)