Barry Brook

Professor Barry Brook holds the Foundation Sir Hubert Wilkins Chair of Climate Change and is Director of Climate Science at The Environment Institute, University of Adelaide. He has published two books and over 150 peer-reviewed scientific papers, and regularly writes opinion pieces and popular articles for the media. He has received a number of distinguished awards in recognition of his research excellence, which addresses the topics of climate change, computational and statistical modelling and the synergies between human impacts on Earth systems.

Barry's website: bravenewclimate.com

Once upon a time...we all wanted to understand renewables. What were the promising technologies? Are they available now? Could they produce enough power? How would the variability be managed? How reliable would a high-grid-penetration renewable energy system be? How much would it cost?

While markets and legislators tussle on aims and rules for 2020 targets, and while some get on with building wind farms, the public analysis on how we integrate increasing levels of renewables into our electricity network struggle to rise above crystal ball gazing. Fairy tales about 'energy futures' were interesting for a while, but now we yearn for a more adult plot line.

Now there is a new kind of interactive website for open analysis of renewable energy options. It says:

Science is special (and works!) because of its capacity to uncover objective truth. Of course, individual scientists are people with a world of subjective, intuitive and more-or-less objective reasons for examining certain questions using chosen methods. But then, in judging scientific claims, the 'who' and the 'why' should not matter; scientific conclusions (ideally) stand or fall based on the evidence for and against their correctness. It can be a little like the Law".