Briefing Paper 12: Small Island, Big Marine Challenges Ahead for the Blue Economy

Title: Briefing Paper 12: Small Island, Big Marine Challenges Ahead for the Blue Economy
Publication Date: September 2013
Author: Dr Heather Ritchie
Funding: ICLRD
Summary: The island of Ireland faces big institutional challenges in relation to the delivery of a secure and sustainable energy future. Challenges stem from having separate jurisdictions in the North and South of Ireland; each jurisdiction has separate governance regimes with several different government departments controlling functions such as planning and regulation. Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) is set to play a major part in the European Union’s ‘blue economy’. With the island of Ireland’s prime geographical position, and with innovations in wind, water and wave and even algae technologies, MSP will be a vital process to enable renewable technologies to shape the future energy mix and to allow the island to emerge as a renewable energy exporter. The existence of two separate, variegated and fragmented planning traditions (both terrestrial and marine) spanning the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland may create a potential barrier to realising the island of Ireland’s ability to be a world leader in offshore renewable energy.
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