Solar and Precautionary Requirements in different Built Environments

Read about the project implemented by the Örebro County Energy Agency and the Swedish Energy Agency to accompany inhabitants of Örebro County to install solar panels and create an environment favourable to the establishment of efficient solar production.

Solar and Precautionary Requirements in  different Built Environments

In August 2018, a general exemption from the requirement for a building permit for solar panels was introduced, meaning that you are allowed to install solar panels without having to apply for permission. However, there are a number of exceptions to take into consideration, for example, if the building or the area is particularly valuable.

In Örebro County, the installed capacity of solar power has increased by almost 70% per year, and together with the overall increased interest for solar power, it´s most likely that we will see more and more creative solar installations in different built environments. Therefore, it´s important to look over the conditions for which solar installations can be permitted, to avoid unnecessary conflicts in the future and to make way for more solar installations that are suitable for their location/ building.

It´s also important to bear in mind the fact that we´ll be seeing a lot more new innovations in solar technology that blend into the aesthetics of the buildings, and these are not yet covered by this general exemption mentioned above.

With funding from the Swedish Energy Agency, we are now implementing a project that aims to better manage coexistence between solar power and precautionary requirements in different built environments. Today there is an obvious goal conflict between solar power and conservation values as well as a lack of consensus in the assessment of the values.

The project implements initiatives to increase knowledge and collaboration with solar power suppliers and energy companies, with those who handle construction matters in the municipality and with politics and management. This will be done in four sub-goals:

  1. Increased knowledge of different solar solutions in relation to prudential requirements and legal aspects regarding solar power and conservation values in different built environments.
  2. Developed materials and established routines to promote more adapted solar power installations in construction matters.
  3. Established network for better collaboration and increased knowledge internally in the municipality and with relevant actors in Örebro County, as well as a better consensus on the assessment of building permit matters.
  4. Increased knowledge and strengthened agenda for solar installations with regard to prudential requirements in different built environments in politics and management.

Through this, we hope to contribute to a well adapted establishment of solar production in Örebro County, and perhaps it can be useful elsewhere too.

This best practice is issued from our publication Sustainable Regions in Action 2022. Read it now to discover many more best practices from FEDARENE members as well as an overview of our activities.