Biofouling, i.e. the colonisation of surfaces remaining within aquatic ecosystems by living organisms, is a process that affects all structures at sea including marine renewable energy (MRE) devices. This phenomenon can specifically impact hydrodynamic loadings and therefore contribute to component fatigue and decrease device performance, thus challenging engineers during the design and maintenance phases of MRE projects. Currently, engineers apply conservative norms found in the Oil&Gas sector which are ill-adapted to MRE applications as the operational environments differ significantly and the demands for low levelised costs of energy in the MRE sector require restricted development budgets. In particular, biofouling most probably impacts MRE devices in different ways depending on the location (which directly affects the composition of the biofouling, a site-dependant process) and the technology/device component. For these reasons, there is a strong need for in-situ knowledge and new approaches to improve the understanding of biofouling in the MRE context. As a first step towards achieving this ambitious objective, published literature, investigative reports, and information gathered directly from device developers and engineers were examined to 1) extricate information about communities colonising both natural and artificial substrates within differing environments (both temperate and tropical systems), and 2) analyse the different methods used to characterise/measure macrofouling variables. The extracted data support the development of a biofouling atlas (through the creation of a Geographical Information System) that focusses on 6 areas within French marine systems (including oversea territories), and which allows for the highlighting of site-specific trends. In addition, the combination of this macro-scale analysis and the review of methods formed a foundation for multidisciplinary adaptations to existing methods used to quantify biofouling in different MRE contexts/problematics. This work provides an improved understanding of biofouling processes and implications for MRE, as well as valuable tools for increasing the range and scope of standardized approaches.