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Renewable Energy; Legal Hurdles?

69 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2001  

Alun A. Preece


Date Written: July 2000


This paper deals with the legal and associated issues which arise in the development and management of renewable energy resources.

The forms of energy production examined are solar, wind, hydro, wave, tidal, geothermal and nuclear.

The situation at common law in relation to issues arising in the exploitation of these various energy sources will be examined. This will be associated with a discussion of the impact of the regulatory processes imposed by the various levels of government, or by international treaties, and how these may be exploited by the various opposing groups to obstruct, delay and increase the cost of projects.

The practical examples to be examined from this perspective include:

Solar panels used to heat water or generate electricity directly by photovoltaic means; Wind generation of electricity; Hydro-electric power; Wave power harnessed for the generation of electricity on the coast and offshore; Tidal power harnessed for the generation of electricity in NW Australia; Geothermal power used to generate electricity; Nuclear power and related issues such as disposal of waste.

Some broader structural issues will be considered as well such as the impact on the development of renewable energy of the National Competition Policy and privatisation of various parts of the energy industry such as the electricity industry and water utilities.

The paper is in two parts. The first part analyses the current energy situation in relation to greenhouse concerns and possible response strategies. The second part analyses the relevant law.

Suggested Citation

Preece, Alun A., Renewable Energy; Legal Hurdles? (July 2000). Available at SSRN: or

Alun A. Preece (Contact Author)


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