Understanding Adoption of a Key Soft Cost Reduction Strategy: Modeling Administrative Choices Regarding “Streamlined Solar Permitting”
How can policymakers reduce barriers to more widespread diffusion of small rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems?
Research Question: Under what conditions and in what jurisdictions are various types of solar permitting practices appropriate and cost-effective?
Research Task: Systematically design differentiated “mass customized” SSP practice combinations that suit different types of building departments, utilities, and PV installers while also reducing the uncertainty and delays associated with full interconnection of rooftop PV systems.
Background: The time it takes for a rooftop PV system to receive a final building permit and connect to the grid is uncertain and often lengthy. The uncertainty hurts customer acquisition, retention, and satisfaction, while long delays are associated with the higher comparative costs of U.S. PV installations. In response, a variety of streamlined solar permitting (SSP) practices have emerged in different U.S. locations. They have not been widely adopted across the country, however. Past attempts to increase SSP adoption have either been customized to individual jurisdictions – a costly approach – or standardized in a “one-size-fits-all” manner that some jurisdictions reject.
Task Overview: This project uses discrete choice experiments (DCEs) conducted with building departments, utilities, and PV installers in order to develop “mass customized” SSP. This is a novel application of the DCE technique to a topic in the field of public administration.
The DCEs elicit from building departments in California and utilities nationwide their preferred alternative combinations of SSP attributes and levels. The analysis combines the DCE results with information on revealed preferences and variables believed to be relevant to SSP adoption, namely: motivations, challenges, resources, and opportunities for choice.
Research Team: Margaret Taylor (PI), Alan Meier (Co-PI), John Anderson, Morgan Chan, Marcus Gilmore, Mustapha Harb, Michelle Jones, Laura Parsons, Joan Walker, & Jingjing Zhang.
Funding Information: DOE EERE – State Energy Evolution and Diffusion Studies II
For additional information on this project, please check out the CSE Microsite.
Understanding Streamlined Solar Permitting Practices: A Primer
Webinar: Understanding Streamlined Solar Permitting Practices: A Primer
Webinar Slides: Understanding Streamlined Solar Permitting Practices: A Primer