Lange, M., Page, G., & Cummins, V. (2018): Governance challenges of marine renewable energy developments in the U.S. – Creating the enabling conditions for successful project development. Marine Policy, Feb 2018, doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2018.01.008


Increasingly, marine renewable energy developments are viewed as an opportunity to meet climate change obligations, with the added benefit of powering the economy and the creation of jobs. Technical, economic and engineering challenges co-exist with governance challenges in the development of large-scale marine renewable energy projects. This paper addresses the question, if the prerequisites for sustainable project development are evident in selected case studies. It also asks what lessons can be learned from current practice in the context of energy governance at the local level. The authors argue that these lessons can be central enablers to support decision makers in future programmes, to better understand how to build the enabling conditions for programme implementation towards renewable energy at higher spatial scales of governance, importantly the national level. The study builds on a multiple stakeholder approach involving interviews and group discussions with key individuals from industry, government and civil society in emerging pilot programmes along the East Coast of the United States (U.S.). New policy windows were opening at the time of the analysis and ambitious development was underway by a range of actors who are driving progress in the sector and positioning the area to become a major provider of blue energy.


Lange, M., O’Hagan, A.M., Devoy, R., Le Tissier, M., & Cummins, V. (2018): Governance barriers to sustainability energy transitions – Assessing Ireland’s capacity towards marine energy futures. Energy Policy 113: 623-632, doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2017.11.020


Marine energies (ME), including offshore hydcrocarbons along with marine renewable energies (MRE), such as offshore wind, wave and tidal energy, are increasingly important in the future energy mix of many nations. We observe that ME governance is complex, as development offshore involves engagement and may often result in conflict.

This paper examines the Irish case, where offshore gas and oil remain relatively undeveloped, and yet have provoked extensive controversy. Moreover, Ireland exhibits very ambitious plans for MRE developments. Against a background, where ME development seems to have stalled, the objective of the paper is to analyse the Irish governance setup and its capacity to deliver ME and whether the current system is equipped to enable transition to MREs. Current governance systems lack efficacy in terms of policy integration and enforcement, government oversight, and public trust due to past failures. Although, management approaches have been developed to address some of the barriers, domains such as policy/regulation, industry development and public engagement are disconnected.

Results presented may not simply be generalised, as each country context is different. An analysis of examples with similar issues must focus on studying the context of the governance setup and balances of power across domains.

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