California is a world leader in renewable energy generation, including solar. In 2011, California adopted a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) that requires at least one-third of the state’s electricity come from clean energy sources by 2020. California’s state and local governments have set aggressive goals to expand renewable energy .Many local governments also have their own targets for renewable energy.
One barrier to solar expansion is the confusing variety of permitting requirements for small solar photovoltaic (PV) installations throughout the state. Permitting for these small and simple solar PV projects should be as simple and standardized as possible. Currently, local permitting agencies maintain differing permit processes for small solar PV installations. These differences have created a confusing patchwork of requirements, which has made installing solar PV more expensive and slowed the expansion of this technology in California. This solar permitting guidebook provides local governments and solar contractors information and strategies to improve the permitting process.