Senior lecturer Dr Alex Wawryk of the Adelaide Law School was one of three international scholars invited to speak at the first International Workshop on National Laws and Policy for Offshore Wind Energy, held in Taipei, on 15 December 2015.
Taiwan is currently considering the development of offshore wind energy facilities, and the Workshop gathered a number of speakers to discuss the environmental, legal and policy issues raised by the development of offshore wind energy, and I particular, to focus on how the law can deal with the various competing interests of offshore wind users and the environment, to prevent and/or resolve disputes. Dr Wawryk gave a presentation on the major issues and challenges involved in the establishment of a legal regime for offshore wind energy in Australia.
The Workshop, which was organised by the Graduate Institute of Marine Affairs (GIMA) of the National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan, was attended by a range of people, including industry, government officials with a role and interest in energy law and administration, and members of various environmental and community organisations.
After speaking in Tapei, the visiting international scholars – Dr Wawryk, Assoc Prof David Fluharty, of the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, University of Washington, and Prof Jeremy Firestone, of the School of Marine Science and Policy, College of Earth, Ocean and Environment, University of Delaware – travelled to the College of Marine Sciences at the National Sun Yat-sen University in Kaohsiung City, to speak to the graduate students of the college. Both the Workshop and the gave rise to many questions and a lively discussion about the role of the law in balancing existing rights, most notably the rights of the fishing industry, a major industry in Taiwan, and protection of the environment.
Prof Nien-Tsu Hu, Director of the Graduate Institute of Marine Affairs, declared the Workshop to be a great success, and plans are already underway to hold a second Workshop in October this year.