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A review of international consenting regimes for marine renewables: are we moving towards better practice?

Date: November 07, 2013 at 10:06 GMT

Regulatory and consenting procedures are still hailed as significant barriers to marine renewable energy development. Developers have repeatedly called for better streamlining of requirements, quicker decision-making and more guidance on perceived problematic elements such as Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Some countries have tackled these concerns by creating a ‘one-stop shop’ for development consent. Other countries continue to apply consenting regimes designed for other offshore sectors and, as such, separate consents are necessary for the marine, terrestrial and electrical elements. This paper presents a state of the art review of the consenting requirements for marine renewable energy development by signatories to the Ocean Energy Systems Implementing Agreement, a technology initiative of the International Energy Agency (IEA).
This global comparison highlights similarities and differences with respect to development scale, timelines and reasons for delay, duty to give reasons, public participation and any additional terms and conditions attached to the consent(s) such as environmental monitoring. This first part of the paper focuses solely on the law and policy
frameworks for consenting whilst the second reflects on progress made towards better consenting practices. 

The OES is organised under the auspices of the International Energy Agency (IEA) but is functionally and legally autonomous. Views, findings and publications of the OES do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the IEA Secretariat or its individual member countries.