Renewable Energy Law

Renewable energy is becoming increasingly important as more and more companies focus on ways to reduce carbon emissions and footprints.

On 10 June 2021, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the relevant steps the government will take to ensure the end of load shedding in South Africa. Ramaphosa said that this would include the amendment of Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act to increase the NERSA licensing threshold for embedded generation projects from 1 MW to 100 MW.

This intervention reflects our determination to take the necessary action to achieve energy security and reduce the impact of load shedding on businesses and households across the country” he said.

The amended regulations will exempt generation projects up to 100 MW in size from the NERSA licensing requirement, whether or not they are connected to the grid. This will remove a significant obstacle to investment in embedded generation projects.

As more investment in embedded generation projects takes place and more of these projects are established, we stand ready to assist potential developers to identify the requirements for such projects. In this regard, we conduct compliance audits on large scale wind energy facilities and solar farms, in particular in respect of all permits, authorizations and other permissions required in terms of inter alia the following legislation:

  • Consents in terms of the Subdivision of Agricultural Land Act
  • Approvals in terms of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act
  • Water Use Licence / General Authorisation in terms of the National Water Act
  • National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act
  • National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act
  • Waste Management Licence in terms Of National Environmental Management: Waste Act
  • Atmospheric Emission Licence in terms Of National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act
  • Protected Tree Licence under the National Forest
  • Permits in terms of the National Heritage Resources Act
  • Approvals in terms of the Water Services Act
  • Civil Aviation Act
  • Astronomy Geographic Advantage Act
  • Permits in terms of the Regulations Promulgated under the Conservation Of Agricultural Resources Act
  • Consent in terms of the Advertising On Roads And Ribbon Development Act and the Roads Ordinance
  • Land Claims in terms the Restitution Of Land Rights Act
  • Consents in terms of the Electronic Communications Act

Legal Audits : REIPPPP (Bid Round 5)

 One of the main players in respect of renewable energy in our country is South Africa Mainstream Renewable Power Developments (Pty) Ltd.

 During April 2021, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy launched the Request for Qualification and Proposals for establishment of new generation capacity under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme for the 5th Bid Submission Phase, pursuant to which programme 25 projects were awarded preferred bidder status by Minister Gwede Matashe (Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy).

 Mainstream submitted bids for 22 projects and appointed us to attend to all the land use legal audits and 10 of the environmental legal audits in respect of the projects. We are proud to say that of the 25 bids awarded, Mainstream received preferred bidder status for 12 of those bids.