California is the U.S.’ top state for solar panel installation, followed by New Jersey in second place and Colorado in third, according to Fortune. The Golden State’s solar-positive legislation and generous tax incentives have helped boost it to the top of the list.

With a total of 832.5 megawatts of photovoltaic capacity, California is the top state largely because of the 2006 legislative act that provides incentives such as rebates for the installation of more environmentally friendly measures. Thirty-seven percent of that figure is residential, 58 percent is non-residential, and 5 percent is for utilities.

New Jersey and its 215.5 megawatts of photovoltaic capacity places second yet the Garden State also serves as the fastest-growing state for development of solar power. Colorado with a 69.1-megawatt capacity places third.

Arizona (64.7 megawatts), Florida (55.1 megawatts), Nevada (46.2 megawatts) and New York (42.1 megawatts) then occupy the next four slots.

Despite the heavy growth of solar power use in the West Coast and the Southwest, 10 states in the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast committed in 2009 to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 10 percent by 2018.

Internationally, Germany and Japan are the global leaders for photovoltaic projects.

source: solar.coolerplanet