The basics of SA's energy law

Renewable energy can open up a world of possibilities but it can also cause destruction without the proper regulation.

The National Development Plan aims to create an energy sector that will massively contribute to economic growth and development in South Africa.

The NDP plans to provide 95% of the population with access to grid or off-grid electricity by 2030.

To reach these targets the South African government and leaders around the world are increasingly looking to renewable energy sources to complement traditional sources such as coal, nuclear, oil and gas.

According to UCT law@work, “the last decade has seen a diversification of South Africa's energy mix. “

There has been a define shift from the historical reliance on coal to other energy sources including oil and gas as well as nuclear and renewable sources of energy.

New renewable energy sources have been a positive discovery for South Africa and the rest of the globe but it has also resulted in the need for greater regulation and governance in this sector.

Diversification has forced lawyers to view energy law through a wider lens ranging from tendering laws to environmental laws and others, says UCT law at work.

The National Energy Act is the predominant guideline for those involved in the energy sector however due to the scope and effect of energy practices stakeholders are expected to consider a number of external factors.

Energy law is broad and in some instances vague and those who work in the energy sector often have very little knowledge of the laws and policies that regulate this industry.

“There are as yet no distinctive principles of Energy Law... and it requires an awareness of a wide range of other laws ranging from environmental laws to revenue laws that provide financial incentives for certain forms of energy.”

This is an exciting time for South Africa and indeed the world as we look for new ways to meet our national energy needs. Laws and policies ensure that this is done safely and for the benefit of all.

Join the UCT law@work course on Energy Law for more insights. This course is suitable for government officials, lawyers, investors, entrepreneurs, and all stakeholders and players in the energy sector.