ENVASS as your Renewable Energy Environmental Partner

Posted on 16 Apr 2021

Renewable Energy in South Africa

 

In a world where fossil fuels have powered development and livelihoods for generations, how can we as humans reduce our dependency on the earthly resources and embark on a sustainable growth path? The solutions, or part thereof, is to develop policies and strategies that encourage the sustainable development of renewable energy sources (via incentives) in areas that require growth injections (where feasible) and strictly manage the link between policy and on-site implementation. Although this is a multifaceted, high-level strategy with numerous potential shortfalls, it is the author’s opinion that this should be the overall goal towards which every nation should strive. In the case of South Africa, the White Paper on Energy Policy of the Republic of South (Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), 1998) constituted as the foundations for what should have been a transformation of the energy sector in the nation. However, the dependency on fossil fuels for approximately 77 % of our nation’s energy (Energy.Org, 2020) has embedded a prehistoric culture into our society and the development thereof, which in today’s era where climate change is becoming increasingly more obvious is not sustainable.

 

A stronger drive from national frameworks and policy for renewable energy development is becoming more evident, with the drafting of the amended White Paper on Renewable Energy of 2003  pursuing the objectives of; 1) Ensuring that equitable level of national resources are invested in renewable technologies, 2) Directing public resources to implement renewable energy technologies, 3) Introducing suitable fiscal incentives for renewable energy and 4) Creating an investment climate for the development of the renewable energy sector (DMRE, 2003). Following on from and strongly considering the objectives of the White Paper (DMRE, 2003), the  Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) was developed and promulgated in 2010 and 2011, respectively. The IRP set more ambitious targets than the previous frameworks, with a target of 17,800 MW of renewable energy generation to be achieved by 2030, out of which 5,000 MW was planned for operation in 2019 and a further 2,000 MW expected to be active in 2020. To assist with renewable energy resource development, distribute capital injection into various priority areas of the economy and manage the target achievement the DMRE, through Ministerial Determinations regulated by the Energy Regulations on the New Generation Capacity based on the Electricity Regulations (Act no. 4 of 2006), has set up the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). This programme releases bid Windows for independent services providers to put their names forward to develop renewable energy sources according to the structured development framework that is guided by both the IRP and the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPP). Bid Window 5 is currently open and the preferred bidder announcement has been made.

 

The Environmental Assurance (Pty) Ltd. (ENVASS) team of highly qualified specialists has to date been involved in various phases of renewable energy development projects throughout South Africa, with our current service package including, but not limited to the following:

  • Environmental advise and training;
  • Pre-feasibility studies, risk assessments and fatal flaw reporting;
  • Environmental Authorisation (EA), including both Scoping and Environmental Impact Report (S&EIR) and Basic Assessment (BA) processes, including Environmental Management Programme (EMPr);
  • Water Use Licence Applications (WULA) via both the full authorisation, or General Authorisation (GA) processes;
  • Independent environmental audits, ranging from Environmental Control Officer (ECO) audits during construction, WULA, EA and EMPr audits during operation to Closure and Rehabilitation audits during decommissioning;
  • Compliance monitoring of gravimetric dust fallout, noise, water quality (surface and groundwater) and air emissions;
  • Baseline specialist services such as terrestrial biodiversity, aquatic biodiversity, wetland studies, ambient noise, air quality and visual, aquatic biomonitoring and DWS risks assessments
  • Specialist management plans for Alien Invasive Plant Species (AIPS), watercourse (wetlands and rivers) rehabilitation, terrestrial rehabilitation and threatened and/or protected species relocation; and
  • Permit applications such as protected species disturbance, heritage resources relocation and land use rezoning.

 

ENVASS is well structured and developed to provide a full suite of environmental and compliance services to the renewable energy developers and suppliers of our nation. If you require any of the above services, or wish to discuss a proposed or existing development with our highly qualified team please do not hesitate to contact us on 012 460 9768 or email us at info@envass.co.za. You can also visit our website for further information using this address: www.envass.co.za.

 

We look forward to hearing from you and working together to achieve our national renewable energy goals in a sustainable manner!