10 Best Solar Panels for Homes in 2022 [Updated Solar Guide]

In this EcoWatch guide on the best solar panels for homes, you’ll learn:

  • Which solar panels provide the most value and which are the most affordable
  • What homeowners should consider when buying solar panels
  • How mono and polycrystalline solar panels differ from one another
  • Which factors have the biggest impact on solar panel performance

This review guide has helped thousands of homeowners save time and money when going solar by finding the panels that best meet their specific needs.

Ecowatch Author Karsten Neumeister

By Karsten Neumeister

Updated 9/27/2022

Why you can trust EcoWatch

We work with a panel of solar experts to create unbiased reviews that empower you to make the right choice for your home. No other site has covered renewables as long as us, which means we have more data and insider information than other sites. Our rankings are never affected by revenue or partnerships.

Best Overall
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LG

  • Pros icon Durable quality
  • Pros icon Top-tier electronics company
  • Pros icon Highly efficient
  • Pros icon Work in multiple configurations

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  • Service icon Solar Panels
  • Service icon Solar Batteries
Most Efficient
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Sunpower

  • Pros icon Most efficient panels available for homes
  • Pros icon Cradle to Cradle certified sustainable
  • Pros icon Industry-leading warranty coverage
  • Con icon Expensive

Services Offered

  • Service icon Solar Panels
  • Service icon Solar Batteries
Best Temperature Coefficient
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Panasonic

  • Pros icon Great for extreme temperatures
  • Pros icon Top-tier electronics company
  • Pros icon Competitively priced
  • Pros icon Durable panels

Services Offered

  • Service icon Solar Panels
  • Service icon Solar Batteries
Best Warranty
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Silfab

  • Pros icon Best-in-class warranty coverage
  • Pros icon Long-lasting panels
  • Con icon Slightly less efficient than top competitors
  • Con icon Less availability

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  • Service icon Solar Panels
Most Affordable
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Canadian Solar

  • Pros icon High-performing panels
  • Pros icon Competitively priced
  • Pros icon Many panel types available
  • Con icon Not the best choice for small roofs
  • Con icon Don't perform the best in high temperatures
  • Con icon Slightly short warranty coverage

Services Offered

  • Service icon Solar Panels
Best Value
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Trina Solar

  • Pros icon Great value for the cost
  • Pros icon Best-in-class warranty coverage
  • Pros icon Durable panels
  • Con icon Only two residential solar panel options

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  • Service icon Solar Panels
Consumer Favorite
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Q Cells

  • Pros icon Competitively priced
  • Pros icon Highly efficient
  • Pros icon Work well in high temperatures
  • Con icon Slightly short warranty coverage

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  • Service icon Solar Panels
  • Service icon Solar Batteries
Best Small Manufacturer
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Mission Solar

  • Pros icon Made in the U.S.
  • Pros icon Competitively priced
  • Pros icon Durable panels
  • Con icon Slightly less efficient than top competitors

Services Offered

  • Service icon Solar Panels
Most Reliable
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REC Solar

  • Pros icon Highly efficient
  • Pros icon Durable panels
  • Pros icon Rigorous testing standards
  • Pros icon Work well in high temperatures
  • Con icon Can be slightly expensive

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  • Service icon Solar Panels
Best for Backup Power
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Windy Nation

  • Pros icon Perfect for backup power
  • Pros icon Great for RV or light off-grid applications
  • Pros icon Highly efficient
  • Con icon Likely not powerful enough to run a whole home

Services Offered

  • Service icon Solar Panels

What Are the Best Solar Panels in 2022?

For those who wish to take advantage of solar power for home use, the first step is assembling their home solar systems. This system will generally include a battery storage device, an inverter/microinverter, and of course an array of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels.

Based on factors such as efficiency, durability, product warranty, price point and temperature coefficient, these are the top solar panels for home use:

  • LG: Best Overall
  • SunPower: Most Efficient
  • Panasonic: Best Temperature Coefficient
  • Silfab: Best Warranty
  • Canadian Solar: Most Affordable
  • Trina Solar: Best Value
  • Q Cells: Consumer Favorite
  • Mission Solar: Best Small Manufacturer
  • REC Solar: Most Reliable
  • Windy Nation: Best for Backup Power

As you can see, each of these solar panels excels in a certain area, and each one comes with its own pros and cons. Again, as you seek the best residential solar panels, it’s crucial to consider the specific needs of your home and your solar power system. To get connected with a solar panel installer in your area, follow the link below any of the solar panel brands.

Watch Below: If you are just beginning to explore the solar industry, you may want to spend a few minutes familiarizing yourself on how solar cells even work. In the below video, the TED team eloquently describes just that.

How Did We Evaluate Each Solar Panel For Home Use?

In choosing our rankings, we carefully researched many types of solar panels from the industry’s top manufacturers, evaluating them according to several criteria. Some of the factors we used to arrive at our rankings include:

Efficiency

The efficiency rating of a solar panel refers to the amount of captured sunlight that it can actually convert into useful energy. Keep in mind that solar panel efficiency tops out just over 20%, and generally speaking, the most efficient solar panels will yield the greatest energy savings for your home. As a rule of thumb, the less space you have for solar panels, the more you’ll want to look for high-efficiency panels to get the most from your solar energy system.

Durability

Solar panels represent a significant investment, and naturally, homeowners want to select products that are going to hold up over time. This means you’ll want to buy solar panels that are made to be durable and to withstand even intense weather.

Warranty

A good, lengthy performance warranty can give you peace of mind after you purchase residential solar panels. In the solar industry, a decent warranty may last anywhere from 10 to 25 years.

Price Point

Naturally, you will want to consider your budget before investing in solar panels. The cost of solar panels can fluctuate based on many factors. As you think about a panel’s price tag, however, also keep in mind things like durability, efficiency and warranty, which provide you a fuller sense of overall value.

Temperature Coefficient

Another important ranking factor is temperature coefficient. With solar panels, temperature coefficient refers to how much (or how little) the panel’s productivity is diminished when the external temperature rises. How solar panels work in extreme heat plays a key role in year-round energy production.

Full Reviews of 2022’s Best Solar Panels

Based on the criteria outlined above, these are our picks for the best solar panels available in 2022.

Best Overall: LG

For our top selection, and our vote for all-around best residential solar panel, we’re going with LG. LG is a top-tier electronics company, and its solar panels are known for their quality and durability. Truly, these are premium products that work well with almost any home solar configuration.

A quick look at LG’s technical stats confirms this. In terms of efficiency, LG solar panels are almost unbeatable. (They are rated as 21.7% efficient; the only brand we’ve found that can surpass that is SunPower.) A competitive price point and robust 25-year warranty just sweeten the deal and make LG the most recommendable of home solar panels.

NOTE: As of February 2022, LG announced it would be exiting the solar panel market. The company stated it will continue to offer support to customers already owning LG panels for a certain period of time after the closure is completed.

Most Efficient: SunPower

If you’re buying residential solar panels based solely on their efficiency, SunPower is the name to beat. (Remember, efficiency refers to the amount of sunlight that the panels can absorb and turn into useful energy for your home.) SunPower solar panels have the highest efficiency we’ve seen: 22.7%. And on top of that, we’ll note that SunPower’s products come with a fantastic warranty.

The bottom line: If you’re mainly looking for a powerhouse, SunPower is definitely a solar panel manufacturer for you to consider. Read our full SunPower review for more information.

Best Temperature Coefficient: Panasonic

Panasonic solar panels have the best temperature coefficient. Basically, that means they will continue to perform at a peak power output even when the external temperature rises. For those who live in extremely warm climates, this is an important consideration — when it gets hot outside and the sun is beating down, your panels will still perform at a high output level.

As for technical specs, note that the temperature coefficient rating for the Panasonic solar panel is -0.26. Beyond that, this is another example of a well-made product by a top-tier electronics company, and we think homeowners will love it for its durability and its overall quality.

Best Warranty: Silfab

When it comes to solar panels, the typical warranty may be anywhere from 10 years to 25 years. There are actually a number of products that hit that 25-year mark, including some that we’ve mentioned already, but we’ll give the honor to Silfab. Not only do these solar panels come supported by a robust workmanship warranty, but they routinely win accolades for longevity and for overall customer satisfaction.

Silfab Solar is a less prominent name in the solar renewable energy space, but it really deserves your attention. It has great products that offer tremendous value and is one of our top picks for best solar panels for home use.

Most Affordable: Canadian Solar

If you’re looking to secure some decent solar panels at a lower price point, Canadian solar may be your best option. This company makes high-quality panels that are not too far off from the industry leaders with regard to efficiency, temperature coefficient and other technical considerations. However, Canadian Solar makes its panels available at a much cheaper price.

One caveat: The warranty for Canadian Solar panels is 12 years, which is reasonable, but it is certainly a far cry from the industry-leading 25 years. With that one quibble, though, we believe Canadian Solar represents one of the best overall values for home solar panels.

Best Value: Trina Solar

Speaking of value, we also want to mention the residential solar panels from Trina Solar.

Trina Solar is a Chinese company, and like Canadian Solar, it does an admirable job of producing premium-quality cell technology at competitive price points. The company’s panels are almost as cheap as the ones from Canadian Solar and come with a comparable 12-year warranty. They may actually be just a tad more durable, which is why we rank them as a slightly better value overall. Keep this brand in mind as you seek the best use of your solar dollar.

Consumer Favorite: Q Cells

As we considered the best solar panels on the market today, we took into account consumer reviews. Basically, we wanted to get a sense of how actual homeowners rank the leading products. The results were somewhat surprising: Based on reviews from a number of different websites, we found that a smaller company called Q Cells consistently rose to the top.

In terms of sheer customer satisfaction, this may be the company to beat… and of course, Q Cells also offers high efficiency, value, durability and more.

Best Small Manufacturer: Mission Solar

The residential solar space is dominated by big tech and electronics companies like LG, Panasonic and even Tesla. For some homeowners, though, there’s something appealing about going with a smaller, more niche brand. And if that’s the boat you’re in, then we’re happy to recommend Mission Solar.

These panels are made in the San Antonio, Texas, area, which makes them some of the best U.S.-made products in the solar field. The technical specs are all on point, and the company pulls some robust customer satisfaction numbers, too. Keep Mission solar panels on your radar as you seek the best option for home use.

Most Reliable: REC Solar

Buying solar panels is going to require a significant investment, even if you opt for some of the cheaper options. Naturally, you’ll want to select robust technology that will withstand the test of time and also hold up well in extreme elements.

REC Solar panels are well-regarded for their trustworthiness and durability. REC tests its panels with standards three times as stringent as the industry average to ensure they will perform strongly in even the most extreme conditions.

As you seek solar panels that have a long lifespan and will work well no matter the weather, REC Solar is a company to keep in mind.

Best for Backup Power: Windy Nation

Windy Nation makes panels that are a bit smaller and less robust, so you may not wish to use them as your primary energy source. However, they work extremely well for backup power options and are also great for powering your cabin or RV with solar energy.

We’ll also note that, for their size, Windy Nation panels are quite efficient. And, they come backed by a 25-year warranty, which should instill some confidence as you buy.

What Should You Look for When Shopping for Residential Solar Panels?

When looking for the best solar panels, here are a few tips to ensure you’re picking the right products.

Consider Solar Panel Efficiency

The efficiency of your solar panels is going to be one of the key drivers of how much you save on monthly utility bills and how quickly you recoup your investment. Each solar panel is rated for a particular efficiency level; the industry standard is between 17 to 20%, so anything in that range is going to be pretty decent. We’ll note that SunPower’s panels, with 22.7% efficiency, represent the highest rating we’ve come across.

Compare Solar Panel Cost

Something else to keep in mind is that the most efficient solar panels are not always the most affordable. In some cases, opting for a slightly less efficient product will actually provide superior value. You’ll also want to think about the cost of solar installation and additional parts such as inverters and battery banks when setting your solar budget.

Check Warranty Information

We also recommend comparing a panel’s warranty against the industry standard. Hopefully, any solar panels you buy will come with a warranty of 10 years at a minimum. If you can find something with a 25-year product warranty, that’s ideal.

Think About Your Home Energy Needs

In assessing your solar needs, think about things like your roof’s exposure to the sun, the available roof space, and the amount of energy your household consumes on a monthly basis. These factors are all important in determining the number of solar panels you need, as well as the type of solar panels.

See Also: EcoWatch Solar Calculator – Calculate Your Home Solar Energy Savings

What Kind of Solar Panel is Right For Your Home?

When shopping for solar panels, it’s also helpful to know the panel types that are available. The three basic solar panel categories are monocrystalline, polycrystalline and thin-film. Each type of solar panel comes with its own list of pros and cons:

solar panel options for homes

Monocrystalline Solar Panels

Monocrystalline panels are made from a single, pure crystal of silicon. This allows them to have higher efficiency levels, but they also tend to be more expensive due to a more costly manufacturing process. Note: If you have less space on your roof and can only fit a small number of panels, monocrystalline solar panels may be the only viable option.

Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Polycrystalline solar panels are also made of silicon, but in this case, they are assembled from smaller fragments. This means they are often a little less efficient than monocrystalline panels, but they are also a more affordable option.

Thin-Film Solar Panels

Finally, thin-film solar panels can be made from a variety of ultra-thin materials. They are recommended when you need something that’s lightweight, flexible and portable; they may work better for RVs and camping than for homes. Thin-film panels can be relatively low in efficiency when compared to the other two options.

Do the Best Solar Panels Require Maintenance?

When weighing solar energy pros and cons before making an investment, one of the most common questions that homeowners have is whether their solar panels will require maintenance.

For the most part, all the hard work comes on the front end. Installing a home solar panel system requires in-depth knowledge of electronics as well as solar power, and in most cases, the installation process will take a few days. We recommend outsourcing this to trained solar professionals.

Once your system is in place, however, the level of upkeep required is fairly minimal. Besides routine cleaning, you shouldn’t have any issues that require maintenance with your solar panels for 20 to 30 years. And if you do run into an issue, your warranty will hopefully cover it.

What Impacts Solar Panel Performance?

Solar panels can vary quite a bit in their overall performance and productivity. There are a number of specific factors that can impact how your solar system performs, including:

best solar panels for homes

  • Orientation: When your home solar system is designed, your installer will be careful to position each panel in a way that maximizes its exposure to sunlight. If the orientation is even a little bit off, it can compromise the efficiency of your entire system.
  • Weather and sun exposure: If you live in a part of the country that doesn’t get consistent sunlight, or if your solar panels are often under cloud coverage, you’re not going to produce as much clean energy for your home. (There is a reason why solar panels are especially popular in the Sun Belt.)
  • Cleanliness: While solar panels are fairly low maintenance, you may occasionally need to wipe them down, especially in the aftermath of an intense storm or during a season like spring or fall when there is pollen or falling leaves that can block your panels. If panels become covered with grime or debris, they may not be able to absorb as much sunlight.
  • Shade: Keep in mind that any shade cast over your roof is going to impact the efficiency of your solar panels. If your house is surrounded by tall trees, for example, that could impede solar production.

Bottom Line: What is the Best Solar Panel For Your Home?

As more and more homeowners seek clean energy solutions, solar power is increasingly attractive. By harnessing the sun’s natural energy, homeowners can reduce their dependence on traditional utility providers. Not only does this yield significant savings on monthly electric bills (potentially even eliminating those bills altogether), but it also reduces direct contributions to atmospheric pollution.

Ultimately, the decision about getting solar panels is a highly individual one. For some homeowners, going solar makes plenty of sense. For others, it may prove unfruitful.

As you consider what’s best for you, make sure you take into account your home: The surface area available on your roof, the kind of weather you get and the level of sunlight you’re exposed to.

Also think about the panels themselves: Which performance factors should you consider? Which type of panels is best? And which brand is best aligned with your needs and your budget?

By weighing all of these factors, you can make a well-informed decision about the best solar panels for your household. 

Expert Advice on Solar Panel Efficiency

The EcoWatch team polled a number of experts on what homeowners need to know when it comes to getting the most out of their panel. Below are their answers.

Dr. Greg Poelzer, University of Saskatchewan
Dr. Greg Poelzer is a Professor in the School of Environment and Sustainability (SENS) at the University of Saskatchewan. He was the Co-Lead of the Fulbright Arctic Initiative III program. He is the Co-Director of a multi-million dollar SSHRC Partnership Grant (2019-2026), Community Appropriate Sustainable Energy Security (CASES), which spans 17 Indigenous and Northern communities across Canada, Alaska, Norway, and Sweden. He also is the Lead of the Renewable Energy in Remote and Indigenous Communities Flagship Initiative at the University of Saskatchewan and Lead of the UArctic Thematic Network on Renewable Energy.
What is the most efficient solar panel you can buy for homes?

As of 2022, monocrystalline solar panels remain the most efficient option for residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems when compared to polycrystalline and thin-film technologies. However, the majority market share of polycrystalline panels indicates that many consumers are willing to accept a slightly lower efficiency for a lower cost.

Technological advancements in thin-film PV research are also rapidly pushing this lighter, more flexible and less temperature-sensitive option to achieve efficiency levels that rival the mono- and polycrystalline systems. But prices will likely have to come down significantly to make this an attractive option to consumers for residential systems.

Does solar power work in cloudy weather?

Since clouds are not entirely opaque, sunlight still passes through them and reaches solar panels. The electricity generated may be lower than on days without clouds, but there is a significant difference between the sunlight that is diffused through cloud cover versus sunlight that is blocked by solid objects like tall buildings.

Do shade and temperature affect solar panel efficiency? How do I know if my roof is good for solar?

To determine whether solar panels are a good fit for your home it is important to have an assessment of the solar irradiance (i.e. the amount of sunlight) of your roof. Solar irradiance can be affected by environmental and physical factors. These may include hours of sunlight based on weather conditions and latitude, whether your roof faces south in the northern hemisphere or north in the southern hemisphere, and obstructions such as tall trees and buildings that shade your roof.

Hao Zeng commenting on solar panel efficiency
Hao Zeng, University at Buffalo
Hao Zeng is a professor of physics at the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York. His main research area is in condensed matter and materials physics. He has a strong interest in developing novel magnetic and semiconducting materials for renewable energy applications. He has published about 150 scientific papers with a total citation of 20,000 times according to Google Scholar.
What is the most efficient solar panel you can buy for homes?

For residential solar panels, the most efficient ones are monocrystalline Si, with an efficiency of 20%~ 22%. As of July 2022, the SunPower Maxeon 6 boasts a panel efficiency of 22.8%. This is followed by polycrystalline Si with a panel efficiency close to 20%. Panels made from thin films such as CdTe from First Solar are generally less efficient ~ 18%. They are used primarily for commercial and industrial applications due to the low fabrication cost. There are other types of thin film solar technology such as those based on CuInGaSe2 and perovskite materials. They have not yet seen large-scale commercial deployment.

Does solar power work in cloudy weather?

Solar panels do work in cloudy weather. However, they are less efficient in such conditions. The output power drops roughly linearly with light intensity. Depending on the cloud cover and the types of solar panels, efficiency can drop by 10 to 25 percent of the specified values.

Do shade and temperature affect solar panel efficiency? How do I know if my roof is good for solar?

Shade and temperature do affect solar panel efficiency. Shade means direct sunlight is blocked by e.g. trees, reducing the intensity of the light hitting the surface of the solar panel, thus reducing efficiency. On the other hand, efficiency of the solar panel decreases with increasing temperature. This decrease in performance is called temperature coefficient, which ranges typically from -0.3 to -0.5%/degree C. This means that the efficiency will drop by 0.3-0.5% for every degree Celsius increase in temperature. The amount of electricity generated by rooftop solar panels depends on the orientation and tilting angle of the roof. The best roof angle for solar panels is about 30 degrees. In the northern hemisphere, the best orientation of the roof is south-facing. Needless to say, your roof used for solar panel installation needs to be subjected to minimal shading throughout the day.

Mohammad E. Taslim commenting on solar panel efficiency
Mohammad E. Taslim, Northeastern University
Mohammad is a professor of mechanical engineering at Northeastern University. He is also the program director of the Energy Systems Program. He is an ASME Fellow, AIAA Associate Fellow and a member of the editorial board of the International J. Heat Exchangers.
What is the most efficient solar panel you can buy for homes?

The most efficient is monocrystalline. From the name, each cell is cut
out of one type of silicon. The other two are less efficient and the thin-film is less expensive.

Does solar power work in cloudy weather?

Yes, solar energy reaches the earth in form of waves at wavelengths from infrared to ultraviolet. Only about 46% of that energy is in the visible range (red to violet). The rest is outside the visible range that can reach earth through the clouds.

Do shade and temperature affect solar panel efficiency? How do I know if my roof is good for solar?

Yes, a target surface directly exposed to the sun is much more efficient. Shadows cast on the target surface from the trees, billboards, adjacent buildings, etc. seriously reduce the absorption of solar energy by the target surface. For any surface on earth, there are software tools to determine how many hours on a given day of the year (in the northern or southern hemisphere) the surface is exposed to the sun (sees the sun) as the sun travels across the sky. And, with the knowledge of adjacent buildings’ elevation and size, we can determine if they cast any shadow on the panels and for what period of time. As for the temperature effects, the higher the solar panel temperature, the lower its power output. An ideal ambient temperature around the solar panels is 77 degrees F.

Nathan Lewis commenting on solar panel efficiency
Nathan S. Lewis, California Institute of Technology
Nathan S. Lewis, Ph.D., is the George L. Argyros Professor of Chemistry at Caltech. Lewis is best known for developing artificial photosynthesis technology that enables sustainable production of hydrogen fuel using sunlight, water and carbon dioxide. Research interests include phototropism in the non-biological inorganic matter and related pattern-free nanoscale 3-D lithography. Lewis is also interested in weather-based data-driven modeling of deeply decarbonized electricity and energy systems based on variable renewable energy and technologies for long-term grid storage.
What is the most efficient solar panel you can buy for homes?

Generally, monocrystalline cells from SunPower are the most efficient panels due to their unique technology (but they generally cost more as well). They have a lot of value for limited areas because the higher efficiency means that one can make more electricity from a small roof than can be made from lower efficiency panels, to help meet the electricity demand of a household in full.

Does solar power work in cloudy weather?

Yes, solar panels work in cloudy weather, but not as much electricity is produced when clouds reduce the amount of sunlight striking the panels as on a bright sunny summer day.

Do shade and temperature affect solar panel efficiency? How do I know if my roof is good for solar?

The efficiency isn’t affected by shade; the panels still convert the same percentage of sunlight into electricity except that the amount of sunlight available is less so less electricity is produced

Almost all panels exhibit lower efficiency as the temperature increases.

Panels also get warn from absorbing all of that nice sunlight; if one could keep them cool on a bright, warm, sunny day they would work better but that is obviously hard to do without using some of the electricity that they make for “air conditioning” the panels themselves and it isn’t worth it generally to spend more electricity to cool the panel than they produce as a result of running cooler rather than warmer. Using water to cool the panels generally isn’t a good idea because water and all of that electricity “don’t mix” from a safety perspective in most localities.

FAQs: 2022's Top Solar Panels for Homes

Below are a few questions EcoWatch readers regularly send in about the leading solar panels for home use. If you have anymore, do not hesitate to contact us at contact@ecowatch.com!

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Karsten Neumeister

Karsten is a researcher, editor, writer and energy specialist focused on environmental, social and cultural development. His work has been shared by sources including NPR, the World Economic Forum, Marketwatch and the SEIA, and he is certified in ESG with the CFA Institute. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the solar energy sector, studying energy policy, climate tech and environmental education. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace.