I have just been reading an old volume of the ABC's Organic Gardening magazine. The editorial was discussing rights to access solar energy. I really hadn't thought about this prior to reading this. It is however something that perhaps we all need to consider.
The article was discussing the significant increase in the number of households that were installing solar panels. I too have considered getting some, with my parents actually investing in a small number of solar panels that's cost were fairly well covered through the governments' current rebate programs. But the point the article was making was that your rights to access solar energy is no guaranteed under any planning law in Australia at present. That is, if your neighbour decides to construct a structure or building that ends up shading your solar panels and you can no longer generate solar power, there are currently no laws to support your rights to the previously available solar energy. So potentially all your financial investment becomes worthless and you may potentially need to re-invest in less sustainable energy options.
I thought this was unbelievable. I am hoping this is just a matter of legislation catching up with reality. Once governments, particularly local governments, becoming aware of this issue, particularly with the increasing presence of these panels in the suburbs, hopefully they have the balls to amend their planning legislation/policy to support the proactive person in the attempt to become more environmentally sustainable rather than some of the typically short-sighted decisions that are made in this development forum.
Something to consider if you're considering installing solar panels or perhaps encourage you to campaign your local government to protect your solar rights.