International Environmental Law, Sustainable Generation of Energy from the Ocean and Small Island Developing States in the Pacific

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Sustainable Ocean Resource Governance. Deep Sea Mining, Marine Energy and Submarine Cables, 2018, pp. 84 - 100
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Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs) are heavily dependent upon imported fossil fuel to meet their energy needs.1 The combined effect of low GDP, high energy prices, small population density and remoteness means that PICTs are extremely vulnerable to external energy crises.2 The importance of energy security for PICTs and the role renewable energy can play in providing such security in a sustainable manner has been recognized in a range of soft law instruments and other international initiatives over the past few decades. While there has been developed a range of different technologies that harness energy from the oceans, most research has focused on three key areas: (1) hydrokinetic energy, where the energy of ocean currents and tides are captured by devices which are installed under the surface of the water; (2) wave energy, where the energy of the surface wind waves is used to produce electricity by a variety of devices installed on the surface of the Sea; and (3) Ocean thermal Energy conversion or OTEC, which utilizes the temperature differential between cold water from the deep ocean and warm surface water.3 This paper considers the potential role that these technologies could play in sustainably meeting the energy needs of PICTs
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