Just like many types of energy, solar power has regulations attached to it as well. When one thinks about the sun as being a power source, they do not typically think of the regulations or mandates it may have when it comes to utilizing it as such. However, there are mandates that are put into place around the equipment that is used to capture the energy, store it, and distribute it. Each state has different laws that apply to this type of equipment as well.
If a homeowner wishes to install panels on or near their home for the collection of energy, some states have an application process that must be followed. The homeowner would then have to wait for approval before proceeding to hire a company to install them. A few states require that a licensed contractor be hired to do the installation, while other states do not mandate that the person that is installing the system have special licensure. Most often, these types of stipulations are made in states where there might be a tax break or other incentive from solar rebates offered to install the panels. This is one of the reasons why solar power has regulations.
Solar power regulations differ from state to state when it comes to the installation of the equipment necessary to utilize this energy. For example, there are areas that have easement laws for sunshine. This basically means that a home owner is guaranteed the right to access the sunlight. This may mean that a neighbor will be prohibited from building any addition to their property or structure that would obstruct direct access to the sunlight.
Some states and local municipalities also have solar regulations concerning net metering. Net metering refers to the process of a home owner generating power, and then selling the excess power that their home does not use back to the electric company. This would involve a meter that monitors the amount of electricity that is sold to a residence, and also the amount of electricity that is sent back.
While most of the laws concerning this renewable energy are at local and state levels, there are some federal mandates put in to place as well. These federal laws are usually solar regulations that have been put in to place to continue further research. This research is done to see what the necessary steps are to transfer the dependence of more consumers on electricity that is generated by power plants to being more reliant on sunshine.
As more is learned about the forms of renewable energy, particularly solar energy, and more in depth research is conducted, infrastructures will continue to grow in support of the power generated from the sun. Some laws and mandates will become more stringent, and others will become more lax. An example would be the many areas that currently do not allow for the installation of the photovoltaic panels necessary to collect sunlight to use as power. These laws could eventually become obsolete, while laws that protect a property owner’s right to access the sunlight on their property will most likely be found in more areas of the country. As the demand for this type of renewable energy grows, the laws and guidelines will also change to adapt to this every increasing source of alternative energy.