Solar energy, innovation and community resilience: the case of Amareleja (Portugal)

Monica Truninger, Ana Delicado, Luís Junqueira, Elisabete FIGUEIREDO, Ana Horta, Luís Miguel de Sousa Silva

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The solar photovoltaic power plant of Amareleja in southern Portugal was built in 2008. At the time, it was the largest in Europe. This large-scale technological infrastructure triggered an unusual buzz on an otherwise quiet rural municipality of Moura. It inspired triumphant political speeches, national and international news coverage, and many visits by foreign dignitaries. And yet, it was the target of some criticism regarding its costs and the limited impact on the local economy and on jobs creation. Moreover, apart from a dramatic transformation of the rural landscape, this solar power plant also brought multiple scientific and technological innovations (supported by a social fund). This paper offers a preliminar analysis of the public acceptability of this form of energy production and discusses the extent to which these scientific and technological innovations have impacted on the local identity, development and community resilience in times of crisis. The empirical material draws on a combination of methods: documentar analysis, quantitative analysis of secondary databases, interviews with local stakeholders and ethnographic observation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationXXVth Congress of the European Society for Rural Sociology (e-Proceedings)
EditorsGianluca Brunori , Ginevra Lombardi, Andrea Marescotti, Donato Romano, Benedetto Rocchi, Gianluca Stefani, Silvia Scaramuzzi , Maria Andreoli, Fabio Bartolini, Francesco di Iacovo, Ada Rossi, Massimo Rovai , Flaminia Ventura, Pierluigi Milone, Maria Fonte Fonte, Patrizia Proietti, Lucia Tudin, Antonio Raschi , Alessandro Pacciani, Daniela Toccaceli
Place of PublicationPisa
PublisherEuropean Society for Rural Sociology
Number of pages2
ISBN (Electronic)978-8-8908-9600-2
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventXXVth Congress of the European Society for Rural Sociology -
Duration: 1 Jan 2000 → …


ConferenceXXVth Congress of the European Society for Rural Sociology
Period1/01/00 → …


  • Solar farms
  • Local impacts
  • Technology
  • Amareleja (Baixo Alentejo)
  • Portugal

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