About Barney Smith

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So far Barney Smith has created 43 blog entries.

What future for PV Crystalox?

It would seem that the pessimistic scenario forecast in PVCrystalox’ latest Annual Report is coming to pass. The CEO is quoted as saying “After 7 years, the Board has concluded that there is no real prospect of any change in market conditions which might permit a return to profitability for the Group’s wafering operation without [...]

By | 2018-06-08T07:22:22+00:00 June 8th, 2018|PV Crystalox|Comments Off on What future for PV Crystalox?

Birds, Bats and Wind Turbines

While wind power in general is seen as environmentally desirable in terms of the planet and emission reduction, it comes with a significant price, paid by birds and bats, species which are also of concern to environmentalists. For there are numerous fatal collisions between birds, bats and wind turbine blades. It is to be hoped [...]

By | 2018-05-16T03:16:48+00:00 May 16th, 2018|Wind|Comments Off on Birds, Bats and Wind Turbines

Windpower report on 2017 released

On 26 April 2018, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) released its latest annual report (the 13th) on the world wind-power situation up to the end of 2017. The new global total for installed wind capacity is 539 GW, which is an increase of over 52 GW, an addition of roughly ten percent on the [...]

By | 2018-05-09T07:33:16+00:00 May 9th, 2018|Wind|Comments Off on Windpower report on 2017 released

The Chinese car market and the prospects for an electric future

Electric cars were at the forefront of the Chinese Motor show, which started on Wednesday 25 April in Beijing. News about new models was accompanied by a flurry of announcements about future Government regulation of what is now the largest car market in the world. (Figures from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) show [...]

By | 2018-05-03T09:59:53+00:00 May 3rd, 2018|Transport|Comments Off on The Chinese car market and the prospects for an electric future

Indian Wind tariffs stay competitive in 5 April auction

Power tariffs remained reasonably low in one of the largest auctions conducted by the state-run Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), which ended on 5 April 2018. 2 Gigawatts (GW) of wind power was up for auction and the winning bids were Rs2.51 and Rs 2.52 per kilowatt hour respectively. That is not quite as [...]

By | 2018-04-11T07:43:47+00:00 April 11th, 2018|Wind|Comments Off on Indian Wind tariffs stay competitive in 5 April auction

Uruguay: a beacon of hope for renewables?

When the going gets tough in the sometimes heated debate in the UK, Germany and elsewhere about the optimum place of renewables in electricity generation, it may be refreshing to point out that there are places in the world where renewables are the whole answer to the question. Most of them are small, with only [...]

By | 2018-04-11T09:13:28+00:00 April 6th, 2018|Other|Comments Off on Uruguay: a beacon of hope for renewables?

What is the likely shape of the future market for gas in the UK?

There are purists who would like to believe that gas has no long-term future,  that it will serve only to help fuel the transition to a renewables future. Others believe that gas has a long term role as a fuel, cleaner than coal or oil, which can help us to meet our decarbonisation targets and [...]

By | 2018-03-20T10:17:31+00:00 March 20th, 2018|Oil & Gas|Comments Off on What is the likely shape of the future market for gas in the UK?

GWEC releases Wind Energy Figures for 2017

Recently, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) released their annual market statistics for 2017. They make interesting reading for they cover a period when kilowatt/hour prices for electricity generated by both on-shore and off-shore wind came down sharply. During 2017, total world-wide installed electricity generating capacity rose by some 52,573 MW to give a global [...]

By | 2018-03-07T15:08:26+00:00 March 7th, 2018|Wind|Comments Off on GWEC releases Wind Energy Figures for 2017

Renewables in Germany: some thoughts

Germany was perhaps the first major industrial power to embrace renewables, so it may be instructive to look at the lessons to be derived from their experience so far. Maybe the first point to make is that “the market rules” does not mean that commercial companies necessarily prioritise the future of the planet. When the [...]

By | 2018-01-27T18:08:38+00:00 January 27th, 2018|Other|Comments Off on Renewables in Germany: some thoughts