The national framework provides a synopsis of national enabling conditions, policies, legislation and the means of implementation that assist in the growth and development of biogas. These are direct and indirect policies, legislation and other enabling mechanisms that create the necessary environment for a sustainable biogas sector.

Various national policies drive and influence the development of the biogas in South Africa. These are the Energy Policy White Paper (1998), Renewable Energy Policy White Paper (2003), Integrated Resources Plan (IRP 2010), National Climate Change Policy White Paper (2011), White Paper on Integrated Pollution and Waste Management (2000), Free Basic Alternative Energy Policy (2007). These policies laid a foundation for the growth and development of biogas. They have also influenced government and policy makers to incorporate various renewable energy technologies, as a key energy source for promoting energy security in the country. [ Policy Summary & Download ]

These are laws and regulatory frameworks that have an impact on the development of the biogas sector. This section covers national, provincial, local legislation and municipal by-laws that impact on development of the biogas sector.

The Licensing working group, has done work looking at different legislative and regulatory frameworks that will affect the development of Biogas in South Africa. The working group has looked specifically at National Environmental Management Act (NEMA 2008 as Amended). The other applicable legislation includes; Electricity Act (41 2007 as amended); Electricity Regulation Act (4 of 2006) Municipal Finance Management Act (Act, 56 2003), Public Finance Management Act (1 of 1999), Energy Regulation Act (4 of 2006) and related regulations. These Acts have an impact and influence the investments and development of the biogas sector. [ Legislation Summary & Download ]

This section focuses on different funding mechanisms and financing options for the biogas sector. This will link with different financial institutions, donor agencies and international funders. The institutions that have been identified to provide financial assistance for biogas include commercial banks, international donor agencies, development finance institutions such as IDC and DBSA.

The National Biogas Platform convened the Financing working group, which has done work on the financial and funding options for biogas in South Africa. The Biogas Platform has developed a financing tool for biogas and this tool is hosted by the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI). A presentation on the financing tool is available for download.

The licensing requirements and permits required for biogas development in the country will be addressed in this section. The Licensing Working Group has been responsible for this work. The working group has presented a number of papers and progress reports on licensing requirements for biogas.

The working group has detailed the required steps required to apply for a biogas plan in South Africa; this includes environmental permits, water use permits, waste management issues, air quality requirements etc. The electricity generation license is required from the National Energy Regulator (NERSA) but only once the generation facility exceeds a certain threshold. In some cases where energy generated is for own use, the regulator does not require a license.