This report provides a critical evaluation of the ocean energy sector’s legal, institutional, and political frameworks with an identification and analysis of barriers and enabling factors for the deployment of ocean energy. The task focuses first on an initial review of the current political and regulatory frameworks on a set of countries to consolidate up to date information and set the basis for the identification of the main challenges faced by the sector. Subsequently, a critical analysis of the main barriers and enablers was carried out, supported by a questionnaire conducted to regulators, technology developers and test site managers. This survey aimed at gaining further insight into in-depth experiences on the subject.
Ocean energy is bringing unique challenges to marine governance frameworks, with legal, institutional, and political issues being frequently perceived as significant non-technological barriers to the advancement of the sector. Based on the literature review and respondents’ perceptions, several challenges and enabling features were identified within the national and international policies and the consenting procedures namely regarding the existent legislation, environmental impact assessment and monitoring, guidance, marine spatial planning, stakeholder consultation and entities involved in the process. Results from this task can provide guidance to future policy instruments and give support to consenting measures to be designed in a more informed and effective manner and to help accelerate the development of the sector.