Biden To Allow Instant Permits For Rooftop Solar To Spur Green Growth
The Energy Department announced on Thursday that President Joe Biden’s administration plans to enable instant permits for rooftop solar installations, a move that will likely address a major source of industry delays.
Biden’s administration will roll out a new tool – the Solar Automated Permit Processing (SolarAPP+) platform – which was developed by DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
SolarAPP+ will be an optional platform that local governments can use to process permit applications automatically.
The platform was tested in some communities in Arizona and California last year.
Currently, approvals can take up to a week or more and permit-related costs account for about a third of installers’ overall costs, according to the DOE. SolarAPP+ could be a useful tool for streamlining the application and automating approvals.
With Biden’s plans to decarbonize the U.S. electricity grid by 2035, the platform seems likely to help speed the conversion to green energy. The DOE claims that solar energy needs to be installed at five times the rate it is today in order to achieve Biden’s climate goals.
“Having streamlined processes and an automated permitting platform that can make it faster, easier and cheaper for homeowners to go solar promises to really help expand the residential solar sector,” said Becca Jones-Albertus, director of DOE’s solar energy technologies office.