South Africa: Environment Minister applies to excempt solar PV and battery projects from certain environmental requirements

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  • 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 photovoltaic (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.

To access the Government Gazette, click here » National Environmental Management Act (107/1998): Consultation on the intention to exclude the development and expansion of solar photovoltaic facilities from the requirement to obtain an environmental authorisation based on the solar exclusion norm [G 48425 – GoN 3286]

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

Source: DFFE 



  1. I believe this to make perfect sense. I’ve land in the Northern Cape just outside VANWYKSVLEI about 2/3 Km to the north of the town. I’d very much like to put up a solar project as soon as possible. However the cost of a full EIA is prohibitive
    Would there be any concessions for us ?

  2. Neville Frost on

    I agree, SA has a population of over 60million and an economy that is in a parlous state, forget trying to compete with developed nations on the green economy, open up solar and use coal fired power stations and nucleur power. Creating jobs and a future for more of our people is far more important.

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