Wall Street Journal | By: Matthew Dalton and Eliza Collins | October 08, 2022

Europe’s plans to expand solar power in response to soaring energy prices are running into thick rulebooks in France, local opposition in Spain and layers of bureaucracy in Italy.

Europe’s plans for a massive expansion of solar power are hitting an obstacle on the ground: regulations that preserve green space on the densely-populated continent and aim to protect the heritage of the countryside.

In France, thick rulebooks restrict where solar farms can be built, resulting in years of delay before construction can begin. Local officials in Spain are trying to slow the spread of solar farms that they fear could scar the countryside. In Italy, developers must clear layers of bureaucracy and avoid ancient ruins to build solar farms in rural areas.