There are nearly 500 different cities and towns in California and each have different permitting rules and processes for rooftop solar energy systems. This balkanized approach to permitting has caused unnecessary cost increases and interconnection delays. Meanwhile, Governor Jerry Brown has set a goal of installing 12 GW of distributed generation by 2020 and the state has ambitious carbon reduction goals that will necessitate continued emergence of a localized carbon-free grid. Nationally, the Department of Energy has continued funding local state-based projects to tackle the issue of permitting soft costs in states beyond California. In 2014, to bring California’s permitting process to the 21st Century, solar advocates are converging on a state-wide effort to establish one single over-the-counter permit for every city and town in California to use to permit the vast majority of rooftop solar systems. This single permit would be accessed through one state-run web-based portal to guide a simple, efficient and cost-effective permitting process for both local governments and the solar industry alike. At this webinar, we will discuss California’s efforts to reduce soft costs associated with permitting and how these efforts might dovetail and/or influence the rest of the country.
Director of the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems, U.S.
Bernadette Del Chiaro
Executive Director, CALSEIA, U.S
Senior Associate, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), U.S.