Author: Michael Barnard

ChatGPT & DALL-E generated anoramic image of an electric semi truck covered in circuitry rolling along a highway beside a railroad where a long freight train is belching diesel smoke

Electric Trucks Are Already Lower Carbon Than Rail In Much Of North America

In 2010, I was consulting to Canadian National Railroad, at the time with the legendary Hunter Harrison as CEO. It was one of many times my decarbonization proposals bounced off of organizations, something that’s been inordinately useful in helping me understand how hardcore businesses view the space. At the time, … [continued]

ChatGPT & DALL-E generated panoramic image of a Tesla Supercharger with a camel and a big anthropomorphized sponge glaring at one another

Of Camels, Sponges, & Tesla’s Supercharging Team Firing

A great deal of digital ink has been spilled on Tesla laying off a lot of its Supercharger team recently. I’m not in the business of commenting on Tesla and Musk’s every twitch and tweet, so I don’t have fourteen hot takes already. But I have a hypothesis and it … [continued]

ChatGPT & DALL-E generated panoramic image of a family huddled around a stove into which they are shoveling Canadian $20 bills

ATCO’s Proposed Edmonton Hydrogen Subdivision Would Pay 4-10 Times Current Cost For Heat

Every time I publish an article or post something on LinkedIn pointing out the economic folly and inevitable cul-de-sac of hydrogen-for-energy, commenters drag out new examples of bad hydrogen schemes, whether as ideas they think are proving my point or examples that disprove my thesis. After publishing on Canada’s $25 … [continued]

ChatGPT & DALL-E generated panoramic image of an electric European semi trailer covered in circuitry driving on a highway through the Alps

EU Wisely Stiffens Road Freight & Passenger Emissions Guidance

A month ago, I spent some time assembling statistics on major geographies’ split of domestic freight tonnage across different modes: road, rail, and water. I was surprised to find that road freight was so much more dominant in Europe than rail compared to other major geographies. I think of Europe … [continued]

ChatGPT & DALL-E generated panoramic image of a barrel wrapped in the Canadian flag, labeled "H2" and overflowing with Canadian currency

$25 Billion Up For Grabs In Canada’s Progress-Light, Reality-Deficient Hydrogen Strategy

Over the past few years I’ve published assessments of the hydrogen strategies of multiple jurisdictions, including the United States, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, the EU, and the Canadian province of Ontario, among others. News of the German chancellor coming, cap in hand, begging for liquid natural gas and hydrogen … [continued]

Slide from Michael Barnard's presentation on transmission under the auspices of the ISGF

HVDC, Reconductoring, & Smart Balls Supercharge Grids

Under the auspices of the India Smart Grid Forum, the think tank founded as an umbrella organization over India’s 28 state utilities to provide thought leadership, share leading practices, and bring international insights to India, I’m delivering bi-weekly webinars framed by the Short List of Climate Actions That Will Work. With the … [continued]

ChatGPT & DALL-E generated panoramic image of a Caribbean underwater view with a coral reef being printed by a large 3d printer

From Bones To Reefs: Pioneering Coral Conservation

Recently I hosted Professor Amy Wagoner Johnson, a US materials scientist who is leading a global research project on coral reef restoration on my podcast Redefining Energy – Tech. In the theme of providing transcripts of presentations I’m giving in various places for people who prefer the written word, this is … [continued]

ChatGPT & DALL-E panoramic image of a cavern underground full of water with an engineer in a hard hat looking at it and scratching her head.

Compressed Air Storage Redux — LightSail & Hydrostor

The other day, I published my doorstop assessment of the thermodynamics and operational challenges that limit compressed gas storage solutions, pushing them into the 100 GW of also-ran capacities. In comments in various places, people reminded me of the long-defunct LightSail and the now-getting-press Hydrostor. A bit of followup with … [continued]

ChatGPT & DALL-E generated panoramic image of a hot air balloon tethered to the ground by an electricity cable covered in sparks

Compressed Gas For Electricity Storage Claims Are Mostly Hot Air

Three years ago, I published my projection of grid storage demand and solutions through 2060. At the time, various compressed gas electricity storage solutions such as compressed air, liquid air, and liquid carbon dioxide were in my also-ran technologies. My review of the literature over the preceding years had made … [continued]

Slide from Michael Barnard's remark at Green Builder's Sustainability Symposium

Green Builder Sustainability Symposium Presentation — Slides & Transcript

In mid-2023, Green Builder Media’s CEO Sara Gutterman reached out to me to see if I were interested in presenting at their annual Sustainability Symposium. It’s been running annually for close to a decade, and with COVID it transitioned to virtual and won’t be going back. That event occurred a … [continued]