This week the DTI published the process that developers will need to follow to gain consent for demonstration projects. Last year the DTI announced £50 million funding to promote marine renewable schemes.
Demonstration projects will be limited to those producing four or five megawatts. Developers will need to produce site-specific environmental impact assessments. SEAs will be required before schemes become commercial, but the DTI hopes that knowledge gained during pilots will indicate whether SEAs are necessary.
British Wind Energy Association marine renewables manager Mike Hay said: "SEAs take a long time and would risk developers going elsewhere."