Dr Barnard holds a PhD from the University of Pretoria. Prior to re-joining the Department of the Energy in 2011, he was an energy consultant for 10 years. He also served at the National Energy Regulator as Executive Manager, following his position as Director for Electricity and Gas supply at the then Department of Minerals and Energy. In his career he was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Pretoria for 11 years, as well as holding a position as a Senior Researcher at the CSIR.
Currently he is the Acting Director-General for Department of Energy as from August 2014. In this capacity he has to oversee the development of broad-based energy policies, legislations, and implementation strategies, that are ranging from the Electricity Supply Industry maters, Renewable Energy IPP Programme, new build IPPs, Energy efficiency, Demand side Management and Energy Switching, Access to Energy, Gas policies and utilization, Petroleum products including Bio Fuels and the Petroleum Fuels Industry, Nuclear programme and all energy aspects that are currently under discussion related to South African energy security