Renewable Energy Industry Licensing

Overview

Regulation of alternative or renewable energy sources varies across jurisdictions and also by type of energy: from bio diesel to solar, wind to biomass energy, etc. What all of these relatively new industries have in common is a regulatory environment attempting to catch up with new industry developments as well as incentives, tax breaks and exemptions that are constantly changing. Both areas -- the changing regulatory landscape and various incentive systems -- require close interactions with the appropriate authorities.

LicenseLogix understands that new businesses in these industries have their hands full growing their operations and client base in a new market. We can help you with the extra burden of complying with renewable energy regulatory requirements and the permits you need in order to realize credits and tax breaks. Remember, even though you might be sales tax exempt or have other exemptions that apply to your business, you may still need to register and file for a business license with the appropriate authorities!

Background

Early in 2009, US President Barack Obama signed the federal stimulus package (Recovery and Reinvestment Act) which makes provision for energy efficiency, conservation and renewable energy. On a state level, this translates into a gearing up of both existing energy offices as well as independent organizations, such as the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) and for streamlined facilitation of new renewable energy initiatives.

Biodiesel: Biodiesel is often subject to motor fuel tax and sales taxes on the state level. Many states offer tax credits that renewable energy companies must apply for. Some state departments of agriculture require a special permit for commercial feed product sales. New York state currently has a task force underway to establish a Biofuel/Biodiesel permit.

Solar: Solar installations on residential and commercial properties may require a contractor license or electrical contractor license in addition to building permits, though solar installers are often exempt from permit fees. Some states require certification of the hardware prior to installation. In Florida, systems must be certified and approved by the Florida Solar Energy Center and be capable of producing at least 1,000 kWh per kW DC each year.

Wind: Large offshore wind farms as well as smaller wind parks are subject to a number of different permits and licenses. Many states and local agencies are required to assess environmental impacts of proposed actions on the environment.

For example, in California wind farm developers are required to consult with the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) to ensure that a proposed project will meet the intent of Fish and Game Code statutes for protection of wildlife species, including California’s Fully Protected Species Act and the California Endangered Species Act.

Ramifications of Non-Compliance

Given the sensitivity around environmental issues in current years, industries operating in this area are subject to the scrutiny of environmental watchdogs and governmental agencies. Especially where there could be an environmental impact, proper licensing and permits will avoid negative publicity as well as regulatory penalties.

How we help your business:

  1. Our expert team stays abreast new regulatory developments in this fast-changing industry.
  2. We save you the time and resources it takes to figure out what filings, forms and application documents you need to submit and where you are required to submit these forms.
  3. We provide a fast turn-around time and low rejection rate given our attention to detail and knowledge of necessary license application requirements.

More Resources:

- US Dept. of Energy Alternative and Advance Fuels Data Center
- The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)


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