About Michael Barnard

Michael Barnard works with startups, existing businesses and investors to identify opportunities for significant bottom line growth in the transforming low-carbon economy. He regularly publishes analyses of low-carbon technology and policy in sites including Newsweek, Slate, Forbes, Huffington Post, Quartz, CleanTechnica and RenewEconomy, with some of his work included in textbooks. Third-party articles on his analyses and interviews have been published in dozens of news sites globally and have reached #1 on Reddit Science. Much of his work originates on Quora.com, where Mike has been a Top Writer annually since 2012. He's available for consultation, speaking engagements and Board positions.



Author Archives: Michael Barnard

Conspiracy Theorists, Climate Change Deniers, & The Rejection of Science

December 10th, 2017 | by Michael Barnard

The USA especially is in a challenging place right now. A significant portion of the populace although not a majority believes a variety of things which are provably false and appear immune to reason and fact. They are supported by a President who has ridden their willful ignorance to a powerful position, and in turn he continues to feed their warped world view. The USA was built as much on engineering and science as on capitalism. Rejecting it will only hurt a great country, and by extension, the world


A Tesla Model X On Mars Would Require A Few Changes

December 9th, 2017 | by Michael Barnard

You could retool a Tesla Model X and drive it around on Mars. But it probably wouldn't end up looking like a Model X. The rover that Mark Watney drove around in the movie based on Andy Weir's great book "The Martian" is much more likely to be what the hacked vehicle would look like


Hydrogen Might Fulfill 3–4% of Total Transportation Fuel Needs

December 9th, 2017 | by Michael Barnard

The USA alone uses roughly 220 billion gallons of hydrocarbon fuel a year for transportation. Diverting 3.4% of that to hydrogen as a fuel still displaces 7.5 billion gallons, and the gallons which will be diverted are the most polluting and have the highest greenhouse gas emissions. 


6 of 10 Big Electric Car Companies Are in China

November 23rd, 2017 | by Michael Barnard

Six of the ten companies that appear committed to electrification of their vehicle lines are Chinese. Most of them have international partners, but the international partners are mostly the four that have equivalent commitments


If GM Is Serious, It Will Still Take About 16 Years To Catch Up To Tesla

November 19th, 2017 | by Michael Barnard

Chevy plans to put three more cars based on the Chevy Bolt platform on the road by 2021, and then introduce a new modular electric platform supporting at least 20 new vehicles by 2023. If they stick to these plans, a reasonable question is how long it will take before they have more fully electric cars on the roads of the world than Tesla, if ever


7 Reasons The Future Is Electric

November 12th, 2017 | by Michael Barnard

Seven concepts -- fungibility, ubiquity, loose coupling, electronics outperforming the physical, human nature, economics and the future already being here -- make it clear that the future is electric


6 Factors Will Hasten Or Defer Peak Oil Demand

November 11th, 2017 | by Michael Barnard

We haven’t reached peak consumption, also known as peak demand. We are likely to reach it globally by 2050, but it’s unlikely to occur before 2030 at the very earliest. There are six major factors which make defining exactly when it will occur very difficult


Tesla Has Strong Advantages In Race To Self-Driving Cars

October 22nd, 2017 | by Michael Barnard

Is Tesla still ahead in the race to self-driving cars, or has it fallen back into the pack? I think it still has a much more complete and robust solution set than anyone over several factors which support one another. Other companies are a bit ahead in one component or another, but no one else has the complete set


Hydrogen Isn’t For Cars But Still Might Have A Transportation Role

October 15th, 2017 | by Michael Barnard

Hydrogen seemed like a viable contender to displace a lot of fossil fuels in 2000. But in 2017, it’s not credible for as many applications. We now know very well what it takes to get useful power from fuel cell applications, what it takes to store hydrogen, and what it takes to distribute it. And we know very well the trajectory of battery electric applications, its primary long-term competitor in most situations


Elon Musk Is Only Somewhat Right That Tesla’s Solar & Storage Can Scale To Rebuild Puerto Rico’s Grid

October 14th, 2017 | by Michael Barnard

There’s a lot more to replacing a grid than just solar and storage. Tesla can certainly help Puerto Rico rebuild, but it will be one of many participants in that process. It could easily make a lot of individual residences and office buildings more resilient with rooftop solar and PowerWalls. It could easily double or triple the amount of solar generation Puerto Rico has today. It could easily set up grid storage that would smooth the use of more renewables


Musk’s Suborbital Flights Likely Lower Carbon, If Not Actually Cheap Or Pleasant

October 7th, 2017 | by Michael Barnard

Musk might have something which would make the world even smaller and be more carbon neutral. The price and logistics might kill it, but not the speed and probably not the carbon footprint. Of course, if it took off and more people hopped to the other side of the world than do today, the net result would still be more greenhouse gases. Having traveled across the equator and international dateline several times, the duration, I can assert that the duration of travel is as much an inhibitor as the cost


Electric Cars Have Obvious & Not-So-Obvious Impacts

September 17th, 2017 | by Michael Barnard

Electric cars and other vehicles continue to gain momentum, just as autonomous features are becoming mainstream. But while potential job losses due to autonomy are a strong focus, the multitude of impacts electrification will have on road transportation aren't as clearly stated



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