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Legal system for the development of marine renewable energy in the USA: a thorough analysis

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Energy has gained great attention and extensive demand as an important element of the development of human society over the globe. As the representative of the traditional energy use, coal and oil have made a significant contribution to the economic take-off. However, their negative effects are becoming increasingly obvious simultaneously. On the one hand, the world is facing severe energy depletion crisis as the energy consumption increases. Eventually, the development and use of energy at large lead to a deteriorating environment. Facing these dual effects, States have begun to attach importance to the exploitation of renewable energy. Marine renewable energy (hereinafter MRE) has become the gateway to energy revolution based on its particular advantages. This paper pays attention to the American institutional framework and legal system for the development of MRE, along with its advantages, prerequisites, opportunities, and barriers, followed by various pertinent recommendations, as the U.S. is the leading country in this field. It is concluded that the U.S. has a comprehensive legal system for the development of MRE. However, it has to timely intersect with the opportunities and barriers in the light of the administrative or legal framework and enhance its institutional structure for the successful implementation as well as to be competitive for the attainment of required goals.

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Fig. 1

Source: British petroleum statistical review of world energy (BP 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2018)

Fig. 2

Source: The U.S. energy information administration, monthly energy review, Table 1.3 and 10.1, April 2017, Preliminary data (Funkhouser 2018)


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The field work is supported by the following project: The National Social Science Fundamental Project, China, ‘Research on China’s Maritime Rights Protection under the Perspective of Maritime Community with the Shared Future’ (Grant No. 19VHQ009).

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Correspondence to Yen-Chiang Chang.

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Chang, YC., Liu, H., Khan, M.I. et al. Legal system for the development of marine renewable energy in the USA: a thorough analysis. Clean Techn Environ Policy 23, 371–385 (2021).

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