A draft Renewable Energy Projects Guideline has been published for comment. The REPG is a guideline document and sets out the principles and general tools for identifying the approval that may be required for each renewable energy technology. The REPG does not replace any existing regulation – it is simply a tool to provide guidance on how to assess what potential authorisations and approvals may be needed for the specific renewable technology.

The guidelines address concentrated solar power plants, wind turbine farms, hydropower stations and photovoltaic power plants.

Part A of the guidelines contains a review of the renewable energy technologies involved, including a summary of the potential environmental impact relating to each technology. It also contains a summary of the authorisation processes to be followed in each case. The list of impacts and relevant legislation is broad and would therefore only be used as a general guide in the first assessment of the required authorisations.

Part B contains a list and brief description of the environmental legislation that may be applicable to renewable projects.

Part C is a brief summary of the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder at each phase of the project.

Part D is a schematic diagram of the basic assessment process and the environmental and impact assessment process in the NEMA EIA regulations.

Stakeholders have until 8 October 2014 to submit written comments to the Director-General: Department of Environmental Affairs (for the attention of Mr Siyabonga Zondi) at szondi@environment.gov.za.