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Renewable Energy and the Law of the Sea

Woolley, Olivia

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J. Kraska

Y-K. Park


Contemporary technologies for offshore electricity generation and transmission enable sea uses of types and at scales that could not have been envisaged when the text of UNCLOS was agreed. The chapter considers whether UNCLOS is able to accommodate the offshore renewables revolution. It focuses on offshore wind energy, which is likely to see massive growth during the next three decades as the world decarbonizes. The review finds that UNCLOS does not always make adequate legal provision for them. Support will be needed from national laws, interstate agreements, and resolutions and guidelines of international organizations such as the International Maritime Organization to fill gaps in the law, clarify uncertainties and to meet challenges posed by offshore wind’s growth. Further regulation by states of offshore wind will also be needed to address the environmental effects of relevant development in line with duties for marine environmental protection, and to answer difficult legal questions raised by the pursuit of development that may itself cause significant environmental harm to address the environmental threats posed by climate change.


Woolley, O. (2022). Renewable Energy and the Law of the Sea. In J. Kraska, & Y. Park (Eds.), Emerging Technology and the Law of the Sea (35-62). Cambridge University Press.

Online Publication Date Jul 7, 2022
Publication Date 2022-07
Deposit Date May 6, 2021
Publicly Available Date May 6, 2021
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Pages 35-62
Book Title Emerging Technology and the Law of the Sea


Accepted Book Chapter (304 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This material has been published in Emerging Technology and the Law of the Sea edited by J. Kraska and Y-K. Park. This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution or re-use.

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