Wind, wave and tidal energy are widely regarded as being the ‘good guys’ in energy production for their carbon neutral qualities. However, lurking in the shadow of this good reputation is the uncertainty about the impacts that this new technology will have on the marine environment. It could cause a potential conflict between carbon-neutral energy production and the protection of habitats, and the prevention of biodiversity loss. This article presents empirical data collected from three case studies in England and Scotland. This research indicates that the disjointed nature of the consenting processes for offshore renewables does not encourage full assessment of the cumulative impacts of offshore renewable developments as required by European Union environmental impact assessment legislation. The article identifies elements of the consenting processes, which fail to provide a full assessment of cumulative and in-combination impacts, and recommends changes to these processes in England and Scotland.