If I can be excused the pun, there is just a little too much spin in the Department of Energy and Climate Change summary of Scotland’s energy production (your report, 19 December). The figure of 32 per cent for renewables looks, as no doubt intended, a nice big figure, but let’s not forget it is applied only to supplied electricity.
In round numbers, the average Scot uses about 125 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy per day, of which only 18 kWh is electricity so that 32 per cent is really only 5 per cent of requirement.
Politicians have a habit of claiming that pumped hydro will “power” so many homes when in fact it actually is a net consumer of energy.
Does the claimed 39 per cent increase in hydro really refer only to the genuine primary production hydro?
Some time ago I estimated that we had then already reached one third to one half of our realistic potential – I would doubt that our rainfall has changed that much in the interim so we don’t have that much room for expansion of that commodity.
Export of electricity is rather a complicated business and would take too much space to discuss here but let’s take the reported net 28 per cent at face value.
This would equate to about 0.4 per cent of England’s energy needs or 0.04 per cent of the EU requirement – somewhat short of the 25 per cent which the Scottish Government is fond of proclaiming as our export potential.
I am not altogether against investment in wind energy. It is the sheer madness in having this as our main source with apparently no firm plans for renewing base generation which I find inexcusable.
(Dr) A McCormick