John Barton is a research associate in the Integration and Wind Power sections of the Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST). He researches wind power and ways of accommodating variations in supply and demand of electricity in energy systems with increasing amounts of renewable generation. He has written the Future Energy Scenario Analysis (FESA) computer modelling tool for analysing such systems, including heating, transport and industrial uses of energy as well as electricity.

Current research focuses on condition monitoring of wind turbines as part of the Supergen Wind project, and system modelling work as part of the Realising Transition Pathways project. This latter research includes both technical and sociological aspects of changes necessary to ensure energy security and reduced carbon emissions, in the context of the UK.

Previous research topics include flexible demand (controllable demand side management with smart metering), the public acceptability of renewable energy, characterising microgeneration, distributed generation, energy storage, hydrogen and small wind turbines of a vertical axis or cross-flow design.

John has also done extensive consultancy work with Bryte Energy Ltd and Air Fuel Synthesis Ltd, having been a director of each of these companies. Bryte Energy’s expertise was in the role of hydrogen in low carbon energy systems, while Air Fuel Synthesis is researching methods of manufacturing carbon-neutral transport fuels by capturing carbon dioxide from the air and combining it with renewable hydrogen.


John was educated at Loughborough Grammar School, Leicestershire, and upon leaving was sponsored by Rolls-Royce Ltd to do a degree in engineering at Cambridge, returning to Rolls-Royce each summer.

John received his first degree in Engineering in 1989, from Cambridge University (Jesus College). Upon graduating, John worked for Rolls-Royce (aero engines) in Derby for 11 years, working in the design, research and development of compressors and fans. There he performed some computational fluid dynamic (CFD) analysis of airflow around compressor blades, analysed test measurement data and evaluated fan and compressor performance. He also project managed the design and manufacturing process and used computer aided design (CAD) methods.

John moved to Loughborough University in 2000 to study Renewable Energy at CREST. In 2001 he received an MSc with distinction. He stayed at CREST to do a PhD in renewable energy: ‘A probabilistic method of modelling energy storage in electricity systems with intermittent renewable energy’.

John received his doctorate in 2007 and has been a research associate in the integration research section of CREST since 2006, alongside part-time consultancy work.

From 2010 to 2013 John was also a director of Air Fuel Synthesis Ltd, researching methods of manufacturing carbon-neutral transport fuels by capturing carbon dioxide from the air and combining it with renewable hydrogen. A successful pilot plant was built.

From 2005 to 2010, Dr Barton was a director of Bryte Energy Ltd, a consultancy in the fields of renewable energy and hydrogen. Bryte Energy has developed and maintained the hydrogen energy storage system at West Beacon Farm,

John has also done various voluntary work abroad, including the installation of a micro-hydro turbine in India in 1998 and helping to build a radio station in Burkina Faso in 2000.

Current projects

Previous projects

Teaching responsibilities

John teaches on the CREST MSc in Renewable Energy Systems Technology (REST), one lecture in Wind 1 and another in wind 2:

  • Wind 1 in semester 1: Wind Turbine Design
  • Wind 2 in semester 2: Wind Turbine Forces and Dynamics

Selected Publications

Journal Publications and Reports:

John Barton, Sikai Huang, David Infield, Matthew Leach, Damiete Ogunkunle, Murray Thomson, 2011, ‘The evolution of electricity demand and the role for demand side participation in buildings and transport’, Energy Policy, Special issue to be published

Robertson, E., Barnacle, M., Galloway, G., Ault, G., Barton, J. 2011, ‘Modelling generation and infrastructure requirements for transition pathways’, Energy Policy, Special issue to be published

Staffell, I, Barton, J, Brett, DJL, Baker, P, Bergman, N, Blanchard, R, Brandon, NP, Hawkes, AD, Infield, D, Jardine, C, Kelly, N, Leach, M, Matian, M, Peacock, AD, Sundtharalingam, S, and Woodman, B, “A Review of Microgeneration in the United Kingdom. Part 2: Technology Overviews”. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers 2009, vol. 163 no. 4, pp. 143-165, Nov 1, 2010.

Bergman, N, Hawkes, AD, Brett, DJL, Baker, P, Barton, J, Blanchard, R, Brandon, NP, Infield, D, Jardine, C, Kelly, N, Leach, M, Matian, M, Peacock, AD, Staffell, I, Sundtharalingam, S, and Woodman, B, “A Review of Microgeneration in the United Kingdom. Part 1: Policy and Behavioural Aspects”. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, vol. 162 no. 1, pp. 23-36, Feb 1, 2009.

John Barton and Rupert Gammon 2009, “The production of hydrogen fuel from renewable sources and its role in grid operations”, Journal of Power Sources, Vol. 195(24) pp. 8222-8235

A.D. Hawkes, I. Staffell, J. Barton, N. Bergman, D.J.L. Brett, “Making the transition to a secure and low-carbon energy system – Chapter 7 Microgeneration”, UKERC Energy 2050 Project Synthesis Report, April 2009.

Barton, J.P. & Infield, D.G. 2006, "A probabilistic method for calculating the usefulness of a store with finite energy capacity for smoothing electricity generation from wind and solar power", Journal of Power Sources, vol. 162, no. 2, pp. 943-948

Barton, J.P. & Infield, D.G. 2004, "Energy storage and its use with intermittent renewable energy", IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 441-448.

Conference Papers:

John Barton, Research Associate, CREST: Beyond Nimbyism: Researching public engagement with renewable energy technologies, Presentation at BWEA30, session on Onshore Development Issues, Tuesday 21st October 2008.

Aten, M., Barton, J. & Hair, R. 2006, "Benefits of an energy storage device for a wind farm", Sixth International Workshop on Large-Scale Integration of Wind Power and Transmission Networks for Offshore Wind Farms, pp. 1.

Barton, J.P. & Infield, D.G. 2005, "Energy storage and its use with wind power" in 2005 IEEE Power Engineering Society General Meeting, San Francisco, 12-16 June 2005 (IEEE Cat. No. 05CH37686)