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Regulating Offshore Energy Sources in the North Sea—Reinventing the Wheel or a Need for More Coordination?

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image of The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law

In this article we examine the legal frameworks for developing oil, gas and wind energy in the North Sea. We discuss whether there are parallels to be seen and lessons to be learned from these different sectors and suggest that experience in the offshore petroleum sector could be used to improve the evolving legal regimes for offshore wind energy. For this purpose, we first examine the legal basis for offshore activities under the international law of the sea. Subsequently, we discuss the regulation of oil and gas exploitation and the regulation of offshore wind energy. We focus in particular on the way in which energy sources are transported to shore via pipelines and cables. We consider whether comparable decisions have been made when establishing a legal regime for offshore wind and whether lessons could still be learned. This is particularly relevant for the future when the production of offshore wind energy and the production of petroleum need to be coordinated, and when sizable amounts of offshore wind energy will be integrated into the (offshore) transmission grid.

Affiliations: 1: Groningen Centre of Energy Law, University of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands


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