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Jonathan A. Schein

Jonathan A. Schein

Posted: September 8, 2009 10:03 AM

New Jersey Lets the Sun Shine In


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 growth.

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 MetroGreenBusiness.com.

 

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