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View Diary: Bernie Sanders proposes to ax fossil-fuel subsidies and add 10 million sun-powered rooftops (125 comments)

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  •  Is there a model of this simplified process (14+ / 0-)

    for permitting and inspections that local governments could go ahead and adopt?

    Although not nearly as ideal as a national standard, I'm sure many forward-thinking local governments would jump at the chance to support solar installations on homes and businesses.

    •  As noted in my diary: (25+ / 0-)
      The Department of Energy has developed a model streamlined process that could easily be adopted across the country and bring grid parity for half of American homes in just two years.

      That is one purpose of the legislation, to get this model adopted.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 06:16:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Excellent (5+ / 0-)


        This needs to be pushed just as hard as the right wing pushes their ALEC-generated legislation.

      •  I totally agree with Bernie (10+ / 0-)

        Invest in US energy infrastructure.  Start wind and solar farms (there are open spaces in MT with no one living for miles that have ample wind for turbines to keep going and running an entire power grid over thousands of miles).  Subsidize wind and solar companies if/when they need it (like REA).

        The power grid has needed upgrading for decades..., and since it has to be done in this country, that would provide jobs for American workers.  Manufacturing solar and wind power equipment could be done here in the US; transporting them to where they are needed has to be done in the US; installing all that equipment must be done in the US.  Think of the jobs that would create..., not only to make and install the equipment, but for maintenance and upkeep...!

        I cast a jaundiced eye on nuclear power for the simple reason that the waste is toxic for more lifetimes than we can conceive of.  We don't need toxic energy if there's an earthquake or hurricane or tornado that can rip these things out and kill us both fast and slow.  Oil rigs offshore are disasters waiting to happen during the next hurricane when they could be forced off their moorings and start another oil leak (or have too many forgotten the last one too fast?).

        Far better to go with non-toxic solar panels and wind turbines!

        Go Bernie!!!  I wish my own senators had as much common sense as Bernie Sanders...!  Both of my senators are Dems (Klobuchar and Franken) who seemed so much more independent and progressive before they were elected; after their oath of office they've both disappointed me by voting with Repukes too often.

        I ~♥~ Bernie!  He's the Cat's Pajamas!!!  Just think what we could do with a whole Senate full of people with as much common sense...?  It boggles the mind.


        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 10:23:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, there is. (29+ / 0-)

      In Vermont.  :)

      Vermont Solar Installation Permit Process Now Quicker
      Posted on Friday, December 16th, 2011 at 4:48 pm by Solar Energy USA

      Vermont solar energy enthusiasts have a reason to celebrate this week following the start of a new registration system designed to make the solar permitting process much easier.
      According to a local Vermont newspaper, “The new process replaces all permitting for ground- or roof-mounted solar systems 5 kW and smaller with a single basic registration form outlining the system components, configuration and compliance with interconnection requirements. The local utility has 10 days to raise any interconnection issues; otherwise, a permit, known as a Certificate of Public Good, is granted and the project may be installed.”

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 06:25:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  There are, but it is not necessarily so simple (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo, BusyinCA

      First, one should always dig into industry studies, since the source is hardly impartial

      Second, the kinds of permitting issues discussed apply generally to building permits (I am a land use lawyer and my partner is an architect so the issues raised are familiar ones), which aren't always easy or cheap.   General the notion of efficiency in this process would be great, and some of these costs would exist even in a streamlined process, because one can't get rid of inspections entirely.  I can certainly imagine the state of California stepping in to streamline the building permit process to regularize it  as it has for other areas, such as environmental review.  Part of the issue though is that buildings codes are important safety regulations that have a minimum standard that needs to be met. Permit fees exist to offset the costs of review and enforcement. If those fees are reduced or eliminated, at some point taxpayers would have to pick up the difference in an era when states and local governments are already strapped.

      Some of these proposals, such as requiring decisions within three days or limiting inspections either require more money to hire personnel or summary rejection of Inadequately reviewed application ( see Keystone XL for an example of how arbitrary deadlines can work against an applicant).  What if an inspector finds some troubling installation and gets sent off site because his two hours are up?  Do we allow a potentially dangerous installation to proceed?  
      I am not suggesting this is common, only pointing out that some level of review and inspection is necessary. Maybe this level is lower than is done now, but here we have a company that bears the cost in doing its business advocating increased risk for other parties (namely the home occupants).  Sound familiar?

      We should consider these issues carefully is all
      Could this be made easier? Yes
      Should it be? Yes, probably
      Is it straightforward to do? Not necessarily
      Can these processes be eliminated?  Only until the first solar panel caused house fire kills a bunch of kids

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