Legislating for Solar Access: A Guide and Model Ordinance

SolarTech Solar 3.0 Project, Dept. of Energy Award No. DE-EE0005348/001

26 Pages Posted: 24 Nov 2014

See all articles by Troy A. Rule

Troy A. Rule

Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Date Written: April 2012

Abstract

Solar energy development is an increasingly attractive way to diversify a community’s energy portfolio, stimulate job creation, reduce pressure on electricity grids, and protect natural resources. Recognizing the potential benefits of solar power, state and local governments across the United States have introduced net metering programs, tax credits, subsidies, renewable portfolio standards, and countless other policies in recent years to promote solar energy within their boundaries.

The growing popularity of solar energy has also increased the demand for laws that adequately protect solar energy systems from shading by neighbors. Such laws, commonly known as solar access laws, can reduce one source of uncertainty associated with installing solar energy systems on privately-owned property and can thereby encourage greater overall investment in distributed solar energy development. Fortunately, compared to most other forms of solar energy legislation, solar access laws are inexpensive to adopt and administer.

This Guide and its accompanying Model Solar Access Ordinance seek to educate local government officials about solar access laws and to assist them in adopting such laws within their respective jurisdictions. Building upon existing research by Solar ABCs and others, this Guide shows how solar access ordinances can be a low-cost way for local governments to better promote distributed solar energy.

Keywords: Solar Energy, Energy Law, Solar Access Laws

Suggested Citation

Rule, Troy A., Legislating for Solar Access: A Guide and Model Ordinance (April 2012). SolarTech Solar 3.0 Project, Dept. of Energy Award No. DE-EE0005348/001 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2530088

Troy A. Rule (Contact Author)

Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law ( email )

Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States

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