BP Annual Statistical Survey

By Barney Smith It is good to see that the Virus has not changed absolutely everything: for cometh mid-June, cometh the BP Annual Statistical Energy Survey for 2019. Bearing in mind that the Survey is essentially backward-looking because it is supposed to be about last year, it is scarcely surprising that in his introduction the [...]

By | 2020-07-04T16:20:07+00:00 July 2nd, 2020|General|Comments Off on BP Annual Statistical Survey

Piezoelectric energy harvesting

By Oliver Nelson-Drummett Vibrations are everywhere. From traffic rumbling over a bridge to footfalls on a pavement, the modern world is filled with ambient energy that can be harvested by materials that exhibit the “piezoelectric effect”. Deforming these materials causes a small charge displacement across them, leading to a build-up of voltage. If such a [...]

By | 2020-06-30T07:38:25+00:00 June 30th, 2020|General|Comments Off on Piezoelectric energy harvesting

How the lockdown is helping determine electricity consumption patterns

By Julian Singer Dr Philipp Grünewald is very interested in what we do all day. As Deputy Director of Energy Research at the Environmental Change Institute in Oxford, his research work and the METER project which he runs tries to understand what we use electricity for. To do this the project sends volunteers a mobile [...]

By | 2020-06-15T14:17:49+00:00 June 16th, 2020|General|Comments Off on How the lockdown is helping determine electricity consumption patterns

Ghost nets – the deadliest form of plastic pollution

By Barney Smith Fishing nets are specifically designed to catch marine wildlife, but since modern nets are made of plastic a new threat has emerged: when nets, pots and other gear is discarded, lost or abandoned in the sea, these so-called “ghost nets” form aimless but deadly floating death traps for ocean wildlife. At least [...]

By | 2020-05-28T10:58:28+00:00 May 27th, 2020|General|Comments Off on Ghost nets – the deadliest form of plastic pollution


By Barney Smith If de-carbonisation and ending overwhelming reliance on fossil fuels are given aims, as is an increased role for electricity from renewable sources, then perhaps it is time for us to say a little about why we think that intermittence is a handicap in the rise of renewables? Put another way, how are [...]

By | 2020-05-21T16:10:18+00:00 May 21st, 2020|General|Comments Off on Intermittence

Where are the unicorns in the clean energy business?

By Julian Singer, 12 May 2020 Earlier this year the New York based financial and business news website Business Insider published a study listing twenty-one clean technology start-ups that it claimed would transform the industry. It was particularly interested to know if there were any unicorns (start-ups with a valuation of $1bn or more). Specifically excluded [...]

By | 2020-05-14T08:28:12+00:00 May 12th, 2020|General|Comments Off on Where are the unicorns in the clean energy business?

The Limits of Energy Sufficiency

By Julian Singer On 28 April Professor Steve Sorrell of the University of Sussex gave a cogent and interesting presentation of his work on the limits of Energy Sufficiency[1] in an online session as part of the Oxford Energy series. Energy sufficiency can be thought of as a goal or a set of actions that [...]

By | 2020-05-14T08:28:50+00:00 May 7th, 2020|General|Comments Off on The Limits of Energy Sufficiency

Shell and Climate Change

By Barney Smith Last week saw Shell release its three hundred and six page annual report, “Energy for a better future”. It was drafted before the recent collapse of the oil price and any proper assessment of the full impact of the Corona virus. At the time there was much news focus on the dividend [...]

By | 2020-05-14T08:27:01+00:00 May 5th, 2020|General|Comments Off on Shell and Climate Change

Climate change and the Virus

By Barney Smith On 1 April Greenbarrel opined  “Just as last year climate change raced up the agenda with 2050 seeming so close, now the corona virus makes July 2020 seem so far away, at the very limit of popular vision if the newspapers are to be believed.” Almost a month on, the journalists are [...]

By | 2020-05-14T08:27:32+00:00 April 30th, 2020|General|Comments Off on Climate change and the Virus

Could windows generate electricity?

By Oliver Nelson-DummettOliver Nelson-Dummett Today we are introducing a new writer to Greenbarrel who, as the title of his piece suggests, looks at the arresting idea that people can power their homes by light shining on their windows, using what are known as luminescent solar concentrators. This article is planned to be the first in [...]

By | 2020-03-30T16:07:54+00:00 December 3rd, 2019|General|Comments Off on Could windows generate electricity?