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Call for public comment on Renewable Energy Development Zones

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Public comment on the geographical areas identified as Renewable Energy Development Zones (REDZ) for wind and solar, and required environmental authorisation processes, has been extended to 4 September.

In a statement, the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries says it extends the comment period for the Government Notices related to the REDZ programme on 17 and 31 July.

“In a series of Government Notices published in July, the minister of environment, forestry and fisheries, Barbara Creecy, called for public input as part of the public consultation process on the amendment of procedures to be followed in applying for, or deciding on, environmental authorisation applications for large-scale wind and solar photovoltaic activities,” says the department.

“These also related to the identification of geographical areas of strategic importance for the development of electricity transmission and distribution infrastructure, large-scale wind and solar photovoltaic energy facilities and strategic gas transmission pipeline infrastructure,” it adds.

The department notes that areas of strategic importance for energy development were determined through three Strategic Environmental Assessments undertaken between 2016 and 2019.

Public input was also requested on the identification of procedures to be followed when applying for, and deciding on, environmental authorisation applications for REDZ activities.

“In addition, a generic environmental management programme relevant to an application for environmental authorisation for the development or expansion of gas transmission pipeline infrastructure, and a standard for the development of electricity transmission or distribution infrastructure within identified geographical areas were gazetted,” the department says.

Notice of this extension will be published on the department’s Web site and sent to stakeholders on the department’s database.

Members of the public are invited to submit written comments or input by 4 September to dfischer@environment.gov.za.

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