The following paper presents the differences in the development of the Danish and UK wind industry in order to highlight key issues that led to their respective success and failure. By comparing the political, economic, social and technological policies that have defined the growth of the two industries, the paper contends that the lack of a clear and consistent market price support mechanism together with a slow planning process and delayed grid access were significant weaknesses in the UK. It also suggests that these factors must be addressed to ensure the same barriers do not stunt the growth of the UK marine renewable industry. To maintain the lead in an emerging marine energy industry, the UK government must facilitate strong public support for wave and tidal energy in parallel with assisting with R&D and project capital grants. Clear and consistent policy with regard to price support mechanisms and priority access to the grid are necessary to ensure a stable and reliable market. Lessons learned from the success of the Danish wind industry must be applied if the UK wishes to secure a stronghold in this market.