This report presents the main outputs from work carried out by the Offshore Renewables Joint Industry Programme Ocean Energy (ORJIP Ocean Energy – see Section 1.2.8) on behalf of Welsh Government, to explore practice related to certain marine renewable energy consenting in Wales. The overall aim was to review existing evidence and experience and identify good practice and opportunities to address any challenges with consenting novel marine renewable technologies in Wales, specifically tidal stream and wave energy technologies. A series of recommendations and associated actions are made to address key issues and opportunities.
A number of consents can be required for marine renewable energy projects in Wales, administered by a range of regulatory bodies, including some undergoing a period of transition and devolution through measures provided by the Wales Act (2017). Marine Licences required under the Marine and Coastal Access Act (2009) are a key requirement; Marine Licensing in Wales is carried out by Natural Resources Wales (NRW), acting on behalf of the Welsh Ministers1 . NRW also provides a range of statutory and discretionary advice in relation to marine renewable energy. The study therefore focusses on marine licensing and relevant functions within NRW.