Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 23 Issue 02

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Volume 23, No. 2
Pages 98 - 105

Marine Renewable Energy Policy: Some US and International Perspectives Compared

Michelle E. Portman
Article Abstract

This article describes the policy framework for siting, permitting, and developing offshore renewable energy facilities in the United States. It also highlights features of regulatory programs in other countries and makes some comparisons. Initially, the article presents a brief historical background of US regulatory development, and then it provides a synopsis of the more salient features of the federal siting and permitting program, followed by descriptions of policy frameworks in three other countries—the United Kingdom, Germany, and Portugal. It concentrates on federal policies as set apart from state and local-level policies, on policies encouraging or authorizing construction of offshore facilities, and on those offshore energy technologies considered relevant in the short term by the Alternative Energy and Alternative Use Program of the US Minerals Management Service. These hydrokinetic energy sources are generated in or over submerged lands and include offshore wind energy. To facilitate comparisons, framework elements are categorized as: (1) research and innovation policies that help to develop emerging and improved technologies; (2) market-based policies that underwrite the cost of introducing technologies, provide a competitive framework, and may internalize externalities; and (3) regulatory advances that simplify and improve the efficiency of permitting offshore energy facilities.


Portman, M.E. 2010. Marine renewable energy policy: Some US and international perspectives compared. Oceanography 23(2):98–105, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2010.49.


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