Communities Can Help Streamline Solar Permits to Hit Our Climate Goals

 

Key Points:

  • In order to meet President Joe Biden’s Climate Goals which is 30 percent solar by 2030, the solar industry must double its residential solar installations.

  • The key going forward is to make solar installation straightforward and routine.
  • Many jurisdictions are using SolarAPP+ to speed up the solar panel application process.

Commentary:

As more people are shifting to becoming more green when it comes to energy, it is important to keep an eye on solar energy. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association the United States reached 3 million solar installations in 2021. MarketScale asked Amber D’Ottavio Vice President of Product Management for Accela how communities can streamline the solar permitting process so that more climate goals can be met over the years.

Abridged Thoughts:

Solar power is more affordable and accessible today in the United States than ever before. In 2019, the US reached one million solar installations, $2 million in 2019 and $3 million in 2021. Now this is incredible growth. But to meet President Biden’s climate goals, which includes 30% solar by 2030, the solar industry must double its residential solar installations, which is a bit overwhelming when you think about the permitting and inspections required to make this happen.

Today, rooftop solar systems require permits for the same reason other home improvement projects do to meet the quality and safety standards. To obtain those permits typically takes two to four weeks, and recently we’ve seen it take up to four months with some of the limitations COVID has brought upon local jurisdictions. Now, although the cost of the hardware for these residential solar systems has declined dramatically about 70% over the last decade, the soft costs have actually gone up and make up about 65% of the overall project cost. Now, what’s primarily driving this increase is the direct and indirect costs associated with the permitting and inspection process.

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