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Offshore tidal energy 

The RYA acknowledges the Government's desire to promote renewable energy; however we are keen to ensure the navigational safety of recreational boating around the coast.

There currently are a number of offshore tidal energy test sites around the UK coast. None have been proposed for commercial development at this stage.

The RYA wants to achieve

  • Avoidance of ‘squeeze’ of craft towards shipping lanes and dangerous coastlines.
  • Minimisation of ‘diversion’ from the safest and most efficient, habitual and traditional routes.
  • Effective marking and lighting of installations.
  • No operational safety zones from which recreational craft are excluded.
  • A minimum under keel clearance of 8m below chart datum to give an acceptable level of clearance over devices in all sea and weather conditions.

RYA has successfully

  • Consulted with many developers on their tidal technologies and how they may affect recreational boating in the future
  • Contributed to and influenced consultations, navigational safety risk assessments and hazard workshops for wave and tidal developments proposed in UK waters

RYA position

  • The RYA opposes the imposition of operational safety zones around tidal energy installations without compelling reasons for doing so.
  • The RYA opposes those features of individual tidal energy installations that we believe present an intolerable hazard to navigation.
  • We believe that the existence of a tidal installation in itself does not present an intolerable hazard to navigation, provided that there is sufficient surface clearance and that the effects of the tidal streams on slow moving craft are accounted for.
  • The RYA opposes tidal energy installations that it considers will have a significant adverse socio-economic impact on recreational boating.
  • The impact that offshore renewable energy installations have on recreational boating can be minimised provided developers fully consider navigational safety issues of concern to the RYA.


Tidal developments are still very much in the test and development stage. We have made our position on tidal development clear through NOREL (Nautical and Offshore Renewable Energy Liaison) and we are contributing to the revision of the DECC (Dept. for Energy and Climate Change) Methodology for Assessing the Marine Navigational Safety & Emergency Response Risks of offshore renewable energy installations (OREI).

The RYA is regularly monitoring the developments in tidal energy technologies, as well as the seabed areas leased by The Crown Estate, and assessing their potential impact on recreational boating. We meet regularly with the developers involved to discuss recreational navigational safety and respond to national consultations on behalf of recreational boating.

The RYA is a member of the Nautical and Offshore Renewable Energy Liaison (NOREL) group which works to ensure that the commercial and recreational shipping and ports industries successfully co-exist with the offshore renewable energy industries.

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