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Author Archives: Michael Barnard

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


Basic Income — Musk Likes It, Who Else?

February 12th, 2017 | by Michael Barnard

Recently, Elon Musk was interviewed by CNBC and made an assertion that ran shivers up a few spines: "There is a pretty good chance we end up with a universal basic income, or something like that, due to automation."


Appalachia Can’t Shift From Coal To Clean Easily

February 7th, 2017 | by Michael Barnard

There will be some jobs in the region due to wind, solar and geothermal energy. It's probable that they could provide tens of thousands of jobs for workers in the region. But there are never going to be close to the 785,000 coal jobs of


How Real Is NET Power’s Zero-Carbon Gas Generation Tech?

November 21st, 2016 | by Michael Barnard

NET Power is building what it claims is a no-carbon form of gas generation that's better than all the rest. It's broken ground on a 10 MW Texas plant in a consortium with Exelon Generation and Chicago Bridge & Iron (CB&I) to prove its technology.


Trump Won’t Stop Global Climate Action, Might Accidentally Help

November 12th, 2016 | by Michael Barnard

One of the key differences between Clinton and Trump was their stances on climate change. Clinton had a strong plan to continue the USA's leadership position, and Trump disputes its existence. However, a Trump presidency isn't a disaster for climate action globally or in the US. In fact, he might actually reduce US emissions, however unintentionally


Capturing Carbon Would Cost Twice The Global Annual GDP

November 3rd, 2016 | by Michael Barnard

Carbon capture and sequestration continues to get attention from fossil fuel companies and jurisdictions trying to maintain their profits and tax revenues. But it's worth looking at what it would cost. The scale of the problem is enormous and the cost of capturing CO2 from the air and storing it somewhere is very high -- about two times the global


Can Clean Tech Save The Maldives?

November 3rd, 2016 | by Michael Barnard

The Maldives is one of the nations most threatened by sea level rise, but while it has committed to clean technology, they know it won't save them



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