The Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Ms Barbara Creecy, has launched the public consultation on the intention to exclude the development and expansion of solar PV and battery storage facilities from the requirement to obtain environmental authorisation.
The exclusions apply when the facilities are developed in areas confirmed to be of “low” or “medium” environmental sensitivity and will be subject to a site sensitivity verification, compliance to a site-specific environmental management programme and a registration process.
This is in line with the sector’s ongoing efforts to simplify the environmental legislative impact assessment framework for energy projects whilst ensuring that environmental protection is not compromised.
The intention of the proposed exclusions is aimed at improving the efficiency of the environmental assessment process. In addition, these exclusions intend to simplify the deployment of solar PV and battery storage facilities, to expedite the generation of electricity from renewable energy resources, facilitate the distribution of this generation capacity and contribute to addressing the existing electricity shortages currently being experienced by the country.
Members of the public are invited to submit written comments or input within 30 days of publication of both Government Notices to any of the following addresses:
By post to:
Director-General, Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment
Attention: Dr Dee Fischer
Private Bag X447
By hand at: Reception, Environment House, 473 Steve Biko Road, Arcadia, Pretoria
By email: email@example.com
Source: Government of South Africa