Developers of renewable-energy projects spend more time obtaining permits than building power facilities. They can take several steps that will greatly increase their chances of securing all the necessary permits and approvals. In doing so they will more likely navigate successfully through the thicket of nonuniform regulations, jurisdictions, and even lawsuits that await them.
These steps include interacting early and often with all the agencies that have authority over the project. The developer likewise must have a thorough public outreach campaign; identifying and accommodating stakeholders reduces the regulatory challenges that can stretch on for years. The U.S. government could help the industry immeasurably by adopting a stronger, consistent national policy. Standardizing and streamlining the myriad jurisdictions and processes would reduce permit uncertainty and cost.