Letter: Out of step

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THE Scottish Chambers of Commerce support for new nuclear power (20 April) stands in stark contrast to the view of the majority of Scotland's main political parties, the renewables' industry and the conclusions of independent power sector analysis by Garrad Hassan for Friends of the Earth Scotland, RSPB and WWF. This showed renewables can grow to comfortably exceed Scottish demand by 2020.

With better interconnection, energy storage and demand management, Scotland could phase out both coal and nuclear by 2030, and still export some 20 million worth of renewable electricity each year.

Not only would the overall costs of this system be comparable to business as usual, but it would allow Scotland to reap the employment and investment opportunities of being at the forefront of renewable technology development.

A commitment to new nuclear, or new coal, would see investment leave Scotland while at the same time massively undermine the huge opportunity Scotland has to build a vibrant and new indigenous industry which can export skills and technology around the world.

The SCC is right that Scotland has to have a coherent energy strategy, but instead of being built around the radioactive white elephant of new nuclear, it should be based on reducing electricity demand and building on our massive renewables potential.

Juliet Swann

Friends of the Earth Scotland

Dr Richard Dixon

WWF Scotland

Dunkeld, Perthshire

THE impact of wind farms and pylon lines on Scotland's finest landscape will surely be an important issue on 5 May.

In spite of the SNP's 2007 manifesto promises to protect our environment, encourage tourism and even consider public opinion in energy matters, the Scottish Government has neglected all of these, approving the scattering of wind turbines and pylons across the landscape with little concern for their location.

It is not likely that the thousands who have continued to protest about this neglect during the SNP administration will vote for more of the same.

Virginia Wills

Glentye, Sheriffmuir

PerthshireROBERT Pate (Letters, 19 April) describes renewable systems of energy production as "crackpot", on the grounds that energy produced from wind, tidal flows and waves is intermittent.

He does not seem to be aware that this technological difficulty can be overcome by pumped storage hydro schemes, or by the conversion of intermittent energy sources into hydrogen, which can be used as required as an energy source, without producing additional carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.

As an OAP, I am glad that I live in Scotland, rather than in an overpopulated country, increasingly dependent on combustion of dwindling reserves of fossil fuels or uranium for nuclear fission.

(Dr) David Purves

Strathalmond Road