Published 16 January 2023
by Professor Volker Roeben, Durham University Law School
The WTO legal framework on subsidies and local content requirements applies to renewable energy projects executed by Member States globally. This article analyses the constrains that WTO law places on the support Member States can provide through local content requirements in subsidy regimes used for renewable energy projects. Considering the growth of offshore renewable energy globally and the widespread use of local content requirements, it is crucial to determine whether the WTO rules will affect offshore renewable energy growth globally.
The article analyses disputes involving various forms of renewable energy between Member States. Only one dispute analysed, the recently resolved dispute between the UK and the EU, directly relates to offshore renewable energy. Through analysis of disputes involving other types of renewable energy, an inference may be made regarding the application of the WTO legal regime to offshore renewable energy developments.
The article has been added to the OGEL 5 (2022) Special Issue on Offshore Energy Investments and Activities - WTO Law on Subsidies and Local Content Rules in the Offshore and is available here https://www.ogel.org/article.asp?key=4060 (sign in to download)