Capitalismo “verde” nelle regioni marginali d’Europa: le transizioni rinnovabili tra rendita e sviluppo diseguale

Come citare

Lipari, S. (2022). Capitalismo “verde” nelle regioni marginali d’Europa: le transizioni rinnovabili tra rendita e sviluppo diseguale. ——— Materialismo Storico ——— Rivista Di Filosofia, Storia E Scienze Umane, 11(2), 256–293.


This article contributes to the debates around capitalism’s adaptation and expansion in the context of multiple ecological crises. Specifically, the article defines these processes as capitalism’s “green” turn or simply “green” capitalism and analyses them by focusing on renewable energy production, developing four theses. First, the leveraging of renewable energy production as an accumulation device is legitimised through a reframing of the discourse around the “environment” and its protection within an abstract universalist rationale, granting “green” credentials to it and the wider capitalist social relations. Second, renewable energy generation expands accumulation frontiers over not yet or “inefficiently” commodified ecosystem spaces, flows and stocks. This occurs through their privatisation and abstraction into fictitious capital –that is through their commodification and financialization. As a result and in contrast with marginalist approaches, this article reconciles the socially necessary labour time theory of value with political ecology. Third, the cost-effectiveness of investment in renewable energy production is structurally dependent on the socioeconomic marginality of production areas – through an interplaying of sustained accumulation and accumulation by dispossession. Fourth, “green” capitalism, in the sector of renewable energy generation, rests on a number of structural inequalities intimately related to its “green” legitimation.

Methodologically, the article combines comprehensive theoretical elaborations and empirical observations. Theoretically, it adapts and expands to political ecology concepts from neighbouring disciplines, amongst others (i) abstract and concrete universalism, (ii) accumulation by dispossession, (iii) spatiotemporal fix and (iv) uneven development. Empirically, it builds upon case studies of two generation systems, one in southern Italy focused on wind energy and a second in eastern Germany focused on agricultural biogas, carried out between 2018 and 2019 through a combination of human geography quantitative and qualitative methods.


“Green” Capitalism; Abstract Universalism; Political Ecology; Theory of Value; Nature Financialization; Uneven Development.

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