The NYT describes the red tape that is strangling the solar panel industry. Our situation here in Israel is the same but no one is writing about it - here it is traditional and normal.
Ken Button, the president of Verengo Solar Plus, a residential solar panel installer in Orange, Calif., says his company — and his industry — are being strangled by municipal red tape.
Fifteen Verengo employees are dedicated solely to researching and tailoring permit applications to meet the bureaucratic idiosyncrasies of the dozens of towns in the company’s market. And because most jurisdictions require applications to be submitted in person, Verengo employs two “permit runners” whose only job, Mr. Button said, is to “take those permit packs and physically drive them around, stand in line, and pay the fees.”
“We have 50 different permitting authorities within 50 miles of our office,” Mr. Button said. “They all have different documentation requirements, different filing processes, different fee structures. It’s like doing business in 50 different countries — just in Southern California.”
His lament is being echoed by solar companies across the country.
In a new study, the industry estimates that the permit dance adds an average of $2,500 in costs to each installation, and streamlining things could provide a $1 billion stimulus to the residential and commercial solar power market over the next five years.