Global energy demand continues to grow and tidal and wave energy generation devices can provide a significant source of renewable energy. Technological developments in offshore engineering and the rising cost of traditional energy means that offshore energy resources will be economic in the next few years. While there is now a growing body of data on the ecological impacts of offshore wind farms, the scientific basis on which to make informed decisions about the environmental effects of other offshore energy developments is lacking. Tidal barrages have the potential to cause significant ecological impacts particularly on bird feeding areas when they are constructed at coastal estuaries or bays. Offshore tidal stream energy and wave energy collectors offer the scope for developments at varying scales. They also have the potential to alter habitats. A diversity of designs exist, including floating, mid-water column and seabed mounted devices, with a variety of moving-part configurations resulting in a unique complex of potential environmental effects for each device type, which are discussed to the extent possible.