The combination of South Africa’s unique natural resources and the government’s commitment to fast-tracking the country’s emerging economy has resulted in environmental law and clean energy law becoming progressively more regulated areas.

Driven by South Africa’s rising energy demands and global commitment to reducing its carbon emissions, renewable energy is fast emerging as the solution. In order to facilitate this, a renewable energy regulatory framework is rapidly evolving, with Generator licenses, independent power producers, private power purchase agreements, and renewable energy regimes now regulated.

Shepstone & Wylie has one of the oldest environmental law practices in South Africa, which has constantly evolved and matured for over 20 years to meet and exceed the contemporary environmental law needs of our clients, and now includes expertise in the area of clean energy law.

We are well placed to advise clients on all regulatory aspects associated with clean and renewable energy projects, including:

  • Generator licenses
  • New Generation Capacity and Integrated Resource Plans

  • The Independent Power Producer bid programme, selection and qualifying criteria

  • All aspects of power purchasing including procurement rules, obligations and guarantees, as well as negotiating and entering into Power Purchase Agreements

  • Distribution and transmission rights and obligations of renewable energy generators

  • Government fiscal and treasury incentives for clean energy

Examples of current or recent projects we have advised on (clean energy law):

  • Durban Solid Waste landfill gas to electricity project

  • Biofuels: Wood pelletizing factory (Howick, KwaZulu-Natal)

  • Biofuels: Establishment of Jatropha Curcas plant to fuel plantations

  • Conversion of coal to gas or biomass fueled boilers (various client projects) and independent electricity generation

  • Biofuels: Conversion of animal waste to fuel to generate electricity

  • Wind farm establishment in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape


  • Ranked highly recommended in the PLC Which Lawyer? Yearbook, (published in the United Kingdom) 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.

  • Voted South African Environmental Law Firm of the Year in the Global Law Experts Practice Area Awards 2011.

Ian Sampson
Partner, Head of Environmental & Clean Energy Law
Siya Mkhize
partner, head of local government and administrative law.