New Jersey Lets the Sun Shine In

11/08/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Conventional wisdom dictates that states in the sunbelt should be the
leaders in solar energy installations and incentives.  However,
conventional wisdom goes right out the window with a new study released by Global Solar
Center, a
New York City-based solar consulting firm servicing both residential and
commercial sectors.  The hands-down winner in offering solar energy
incentives is none other than New Jersey,
followed by Pennsylvania. 
New York, Delaware,
and Colorado
also make the top of the list.  While California
leads the country in total solar installations, New Jersey leads the nation per capita

Why New Jersey? 
The state’s government has broadened its incentive program, through which any
installation’s expense can be paid back in three years.  And Pennsylvania is hot on
the trail, with incentives covering more than 60% of the total cost.

Where is this money coming from?  Much of it is coming from the economic
stimulus packages created at the federal, state, and local levels.

According to the study, market demand for solar energy has increased by 30%
over the past five years, and the northeastern/middle Atlantic states are at
the top of the rankings. While the southwest basks in nearly year-round sun,
those states are not offering the incentives that could cut its carbon
footprint by major proportions.  New
Jersey has certainly had its share of environmental
issues; however, it is taking the appropriate steps to ensure a much healthier
future.  The Garden
State moniker is suddenly
starting to make sense again.

Jonathan A. Schein is the publisher of New Jersey & Company magazine and