Ben Zientara

Solar Policy Analyst


Solar policy | Industry trends | Solar generators

About Ben Zientara

Ben Zientara is a writer, researcher, and solar policy analyst who has written about the residential solar industry, the electric grid, and state utility policy since 2013.

His early work included leading the team that produced the annual State Solar Power Rankings Report for the Solar Power Rocks website from 2015 to 2020. The rankings were utilized and referenced by a diverse mix of policymakers, advocacy groups, and media including The Center for American Progress, The Institute for Local Self-Reliance, the Solar Institute at George Washington University, PolitiFact, and The Guardian.

In 2020, Ben joined SolarReviews and now lends his expertise to the annual Solar Industry Survey, Top Solar Manufacturers list, Top 10 Solar States list, and throughout articles and pages across the site.

Ben holds a B.S. in Scientific & Technical Communication from the University of Minnesota, with special coursework in Environmental Science and a minor in Sustainability Studies. He spends his time away from the solar power world cooking and eating delicious food or spending quality time with his wife, kids, and big brown dog in the mountains, woods, parks, and playgrounds of the Portland, Oregon area.

Articles by Ben Zientara

Perovskite solar cells: why they’re the future of solar power

Perovskites are the most promising solar cell technology in the world, and they might be on your roof soon. Here's how they work and when they'll be available.

Written by Ben Zientara

What happens if you have solar and the power goes out?

Typical home solar installations shut down during a blackout, but you can keep the lights on in 1 of 3 ways: a generator, battery, or a special solar inverter.

Written by Ben Zientara

Expert review of Maxeon solar panels: are they the best on the market?

Maxeon solar panels are at the top of the market in efficiency and performance but also come at a very high price. Read this to find out if they're worth it.

Written by Ben Zientara

LG to close solar business - what does this mean for people who have or want LG solar panels?

LG announced it will stop manufacturing solar panels in 2022. What should you do if you just bought LG solar panels or plan to in the near future? We've got the answers to these questions and more.

Written by Ben Zientara

kW vs. kWh: Watts, kilowatts, and kilowatt-hours explained

Watts and kilowatts (kW) are measures of power, or ability to do work, while kilowatt-hours (kWh) are measures of energy, which is power used over time.

Written by Ben Zientara

What is net metering and how does it work?

Net metering is the utility billing practice of recording the excess energy generated by a solar installation and applying it to the customer’s bill as credit toward energy drawn from the grid.

Written by Ben Zientara