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UNSG Report Highlights Potential of Marine Renewable Energies in SIDS/ Caribbean

UN logo4 April 2012: The UN Secretary-General has released his report on oceans and the law of the sea, which focuses on marine renewable energies. The report highlights that small island developing States (SIDS), with large coastal populations, little infrastructure in the coastal zones and few alternative energy resources, are well situated for growth of ocean thermal energy conversion.

The report constitutes the first part of the report of the UNSG to the 67th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on developments and issues relating to ocean affairs and the law of the sea. After an introduction on the topic of marine renewable energy, the report provides information on the various marine sources of renewable energies, followed by an overview of the policy framework and legal aspects of the activities relating to marine renewable energies. It then identifies developments at the global and regional levels, as well as the related opportunities and challenges within the context of sustainable development.

According to the report, a persistent lack of access to energy seriously impedes socioeconomic development, particularly in many SIDS. It further underlines that oceans are a vast renewable resource with the potential to help SIDS, which are characterized by limited land and land-based natural resources, to produce billions of watts of electric power. Experts estimate this potential to be about 1013 watts of base load power generation, the report notes. It highlights the example of the Ocean Thermal Energy Corporation, which currently is designing the world’s first two commercial ocean thermal energy conversion plants in the Bahamas, enhancing the development of marine renewable technology in the Western Caribbean region.

Noting that marine renewable energies are still a nascent but growing field of endeavour in many countries, the report underscores that it was not possible to be exhaustive in presenting information on their development and deployment status, or on related national and regional regulatory frameworks.

The report aims to facilitate discussions on the topic of focus of the 13th meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (“the Informal Consultative Process” or ICP), which will take place in New York, US, from 29 May-1 June 2012

Category/ies:Regional News.
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