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China Issues Rules on Maritime Wind Energy Projects

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China has issued regulations on the development and construction of offshore wind power projects in a bid to promote reasonable use of sea space and resources and better protect oceanic environment.

The regulations, jointly issued by the National Energy Administration and the State Oceanic Administration (SOA), include 38 articles in ten chapters, according to a statement released Tuesday by the SOA.

The rules specify procedures and requirements for the planning of offshore wind energy developments, the authorization of such projects, the application and approval of the use of sea space, and construction verification, among others.

The rules stress that projects should be based on the principles of planning before major construction starts.

According to the regulations, energy departments at provincial level will be responsible for drawing up plans for local offshore wind energy development, while oceanic departments at the same level should provide initial opinions on the plans regarding the projects' impact on the ocean environment.

Such projects should be conducted according to reasonable distribution and sparing use of sea areas, the rules said.

In addition, projects may only be started after being verified by authorities and the obtaining of rights for the use of the sea space.

When it comes to uninhabited islands, projects should also receive certificates of island use, according to the procedures set out by the law of island protection.

The rules also require project principals to report on project's environmental impact with submissions to the oceanic administrative department.

(Xinhua News Agency February 10, 2010)