During the last decade, tidal stream and wave energy technologies have made significant progress. A number of large-scale prototypes have been deployed around the world. In this article, the recent development in some western countries and China is presented. Taken as the representatives from European and American continent, UK, Portugal and US are chosen to compare with China in resource assessment, research& development, and policy aspects. With an analysis of similarities and differences, the major elements that have great effect on development of ocean energy industry are concluded, and some suggestions are given to improve the development of tidal stream and wave energy technology.