Large-scale Wind Farm in Sami reindeer land, Sweden

More than 1,000 turbines (4,000 MW) are being constructed in Sami herding lands. The UN and ONGs press the Swedish government and private financial institutions to respect Sami land and human rights.


In May 2008 the Swedish Company Svevind applied for a permit to build and operate the Markbygden Wind Farm. The project consist of more than 1,000 wind turbines, and an extensive road infrastructure to be deployed in the Arctic region of Piteå. This major industrial project is expected to achieve an installed capacity over 4,000 MW with total production of around 8-12 TWh per year, capable to supply electricity for about 400,000 households in Sweden. According to Svevind, the project is located in a region with “very good wind conditions” and “relatively small degree of conflicting interests” since the area is “sparsely populated”. However, the project covers a total of 450 Km2 of Sami reindeer herding areas.

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Basic Data
NameLarge-scale Wind Farm in Sami reindeer land, Sweden
ProvinceNorrbotten, Piteå
SiteKikkejaure village
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Land acquisition conflicts
Specific CommoditiesElectricity
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsNumber of wind turbines: 1101 wind turbines.

Estimated capacity: 4,000 MW

Total estimated production: 8-12 TWh.


Turbines: 20

Rated power: 42 MW

Estimated annual production: 170.0 GWh


The first phase got its permit in autumn of 2012 and construction has started.


Rated power: 935 MW

Estimated annual production: 3.0 TWh


The second phase was approved in 2015 and then sold to Enercon.

Turbines: 440

Rated Power: 1300 MW

Estimated annual production: 3.5 TWh


The third and last phase is still being investigated.

Turbines: 442

Rated power:1800 MW

Estimated annual production: 3.0 TWh
Project Area (in hectares)45,000
Level of Investment (in USD)7,000,000,000
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date01/03/2010
Company Names or State EnterprisesSvevind from Sweden - Developer
Enercon from Germany
Relevant government actorsSwedish ministry of enterprise and energy
International and Financial InstitutionsKfW Bankengruppe (KfW ) from Germany - Investor
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersSami council
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingIndigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Shareholder/financial activism.
Lack of proper consultation
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Violations of human rights
Potential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusUnder construction
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseUnder negotiation
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The construction of the project is ongoing while consultation processes remain unsatisfying for Sami people.
Sources and Materials

Anett Sasvari (2016), Green grabbing – modes of appropriation and knowledge production in the conflict between Sami herders and the wind power industry, Paper Presented at the ENTITLE Conference, Undisciplined Environments, Stockholm, March 2016.


Samis web page
[click to view]

Markbygden Project Webpage
[click to view]

Sami Council Web Page
[click to view]

The International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry, Sami Council Criticize German Bank Funding of Wind Power on Reindeer Pastures, April 19, 2010, Consulted April 15 2016
[click to view]

Tom Sullivan, Radio Sweden – News in English, Sámi opposition to giant wind farms, Published torsdag 25 november 2010 kl 08.35,
[click to view]

Media Links

The Last Generation? – Sami Reindeer Herders in Swedish Lapland, Documentary, Filmed 2012 – 2013,,
[click to view]

Other Documents

Sami reindeer herder - National Geographic, Photograph by Erika Larsen
[click to view]

Reindeer in the road near the wind farm. Photo: Tom Sullivan / SR International
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorSofia Avila-Calero
Last update20/04/2016