The Inshore and Offshore East Marine Plans are the first two of 11 Marine Plans the Government intends to complete by 2021. These will eventually set planning guidance for sustainable development in all English coastal waters.

The East Marine Plans designate several areas of high tidal stream resource off the East Yorkshire, Suffolk, and especially Norfolk coastlines where tidal energy development will be prioritised.

Other developments in these areas will have to be justified to the MMO, and any adverse impacts on tidal energy development minimised or mitigated. The REA has played a key role in ensuring that wave and tidal energy is supported under the Marine Plans programme.

REA Head of Marine Renewables Dr Steph Merry said, "We have been working hard to highlight to Government the non-financial barriers to wave and tidal energy in UK waters. These provide opportunities for cost-effective policy measures that will support this nascent green industry at minimal cost to the taxpayer. The kind of excellent support the MMO has demonstrated is very much needed if we are to preserve our world-leading position on wave and tidal energy."

The East Marine Plans cover the coast and seas from Flamborough Head to Felixstowe, with a major area earmarked for tidal energy development off the Norfolk coast near Great Yarmouth. They also contain similar policies for offshore wind. The next Marine Plan will cover the South Coast, from Folkestone to Dartmouth. The REA will continue to engage with the MMO to ensure that all future Marine Plans also support the UK’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and boost energy security with marine renewable energy.