St. Louis, Mo. (KMOX) – A solar energy developer says communities across Missouri may have to streamline codes to make the federal Clean Power Plan work. That plan introduced by President Obama earlier this year aims to cut power plant emissions and increase renewable energy sources over the next 15 years.
KMOX News asked Mike Hornitschek, Director of Strategic Development for StraightUp Solar, about regulatory obstacles for developers of alternate energy sources. “In Germany you can get one-day turnaround on permits and those types of things, whereas here in Missouri it can days, weeks, or if you have to face a local zoning board or city council for approval to install solar it can take weeks or months.”
Governor Nixon is expected to release his comprehensive energy plan for Missouri this fall. It could be a tall task to meet the federal requirements — with the bulk of the state’s energy needs supplied by burning coal. Hornitschek points out that Missouri’s reliance on coal has the 5th longest distance of states in the nation to satisfy the federal requirements.
“We’ve got about 15 years,” points out Hornitschek, “it’s going to take a combination of efficiency — meaning using less energy — and replacing energy flows that we rely on today with new sources.” He says he anticipates much of the growth in renewable and clean power sources will come from small businesses — which already make up more than half of the industry in Missouri.
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