The New York Times has a story about how permit requirements add to the cost of solar energy:
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, Mr. Button said, 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."....
In a new study, the industry estimates that the permit dance adds an average of $2,500 in costs to each installation
The story is full of calls for streamlining or standardizing the permit requirements and process, but no one asks the more fundamental question of why a company or property owner should need the government's permission to install a solar panel in the first place.