Public comment sought on exclusion of expansion of solar PV from environmental authorisation

Monday, April 17, 2023

Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister, Barbara Creecy, has begun the public consultation process 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 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,” said the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment.

In a statement on Monday, the department said 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.

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: 


 Any inquiries in connection with the Notice can be directed to Dr Dee Fischer by phone at 012 399 8843 or by email at

 Comments or inputs received after the closing dates may not be considered.

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