This thesis involves an examination of the main international, regional and national legal regimes regulating marine renewable energy in England and Wales. Deriving from a complex patchwork of law and policy, developments have ensued in the absence of a distinct governing ‘legal regime’ and within a number of competing paradigms. This original synthesis attempts to identify lacunae, conflicts and connections within and between the span of legal genres that MRE evokes. Against a backdrop of climate change mitigation, the key findings show that despite the presence of political will for offshore renewable energies, MRE development faces a number of legal obstacles, all of which seek to protect other important public and private interests. Although predominantly satisfactory at the international level (international law of the sea), national private property rights, environmental protection laws and regulatory development controls each encompass particular legal incongruities that have the potential to act as barricades to development. This thesis discusses these issues and reaches conclusions as to potential areas for reform.

Document Type


Publication Date