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Blue Energy and Maritime Spatial Planning: Opportunities and Challenges

Tuesday, 16 September, 2014 - 12:00
Campus: Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering campus
Karel Van Miert Building (IES)
Conference Room Rome (floor -1)
Institute for European Studies
Policy Forum

The Institute for European Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel kindly invites you to a Policy Forum on Tuesday 16 September 2014, 12:00h-14:00h, entitled "Blue Energy and Maritime Spatial Planning: opportunities and challenges".

In its communication released the 20th of January 2014 on "Blue Energy - Action needed to deliver on the potential of ocean energy in European seas and oceans by 2020 and beyond", the Commission highlighted that the development of ocean renewables provides the opportunity to contribute to employment, innovation, climate and energy objectives. However, it also pointed out various challenges remaining such as the technology costs, the lack of certainty in the EU's grid planning process or the need to improve the understanding of the environmental impacts of these technologies. Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) is one of the tools to face these challenges and the adoption of the new Directive for MSP should play an important role for the development of Blue Energy and other industries as well as the coexistence of the different activities that can take place in the Sea.

Some of the questions the Policy Forum seeks to address are:

• What are the challenges to build the ocean renewables industry?
• What are the specific challenges of ocean energy?
• What are the issues to be considered in relation to the sustainable development of Blue Energy?
• What is the role of Maritime Spatial Planning for the development of the ocean renewables?

The expert panel that will consider the policy challenges outlined above consists of the following speakers:

• Matthieu Ballu, DG MARE of the European Commission.
• Sian George, President of the European Ocean Energy Association, Board Member of the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) and chair of the Advisory Board of strategic initiative of ocean energy.
• Frank Maes, Professor of Public International Law and research director of the Maritime Institute at Ghent University.