In order to make advancements in marine renewable energy technology, devices need to be tested and the effects need to be assessed. Unfortunately it is currently very difficult, expensive and time consuming to place a device in the sea to accomplish this. One of the most restrictive aspects of marine renewable energy development is obtaining a license. In order to obtain a license the environmental concerns specific to the project must be addressed. By defining the major environmental concerns and creating a permitting process before seeking a license, it is possible to reduce the difficulty, time and expense involved in installing renewable energy technology in the sea.