Letters: Doubts over viability of wind power

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ED MILIBAND pointed out that Alex Salmond's renewable energy plans will require an upgrade of the electrical grid far beyond our means in an era of tight budgets (your report, 16 April).

The spectacular growth of renewable energy sources, driven by high subsidies and green rhetoric on global warming, has meant the national grid is already struggling to cope.

The costs and technical obstacles soar with offshore wind facilities and the problems of tailoring this highly variable source of power to our needs may prove intractable.

If reducing emissions is what truly motivates Mr Salmond, he should bin plans for the expansion of renewables and build gas power stations to replace those based on coal and fission.

DR JOHN CAMERON

Howard Place

St Andrews

ALEX Salmond declared that Scotland can be powered by renewable energy in just nine years with 130,000 new jobs and Scotland able to sell vast reserves of surplus electricity to the rest of the UK (your report, 15 April).

Why should we build more and more turbines, which each get a subsidy of at least 275,000 a year, just to sell the surplus? No wonder business leaders are saying that he is living in "cloud cuckoo land".

Conventional power plants provide electricity when required, whereas wind turbines also produce electricity at times of zero or low demand, and it cannot be stored.

Green zealots frequently point out that Denmark produces 20 per cent of its generated electricity from wind turbines. True, but what they conceal is that the Danes only consume half of that and the other half goes to waste or is sold at rock bottom prices.

The renewables industry only survives on taxpayer subsidies and is unsustainable.

CLARK CROSS

Springfield Road

Linlithgow

THE determination of certain politicians to pursue the unrealistic dream of a Scotland powered entirely from renewables by 2020, relying on intermittent wind power or basically experimental and unproven sources, will result in this country having the most expensive electricity in Europe - providing we can keep the lights on at all.

The engineers and scientists who actually have an expertise in these matters realised long ago that wind power is a ridiculously inefficient and expensive way to produce electricity which wouldn't exist without heavy taxpayer subsidy.

ROGER PATON

Howacre

Lanark

Anyone with any concerns about future energy needs will recognise that we have to do something, and that that something might relate to tidal power. It is efficient and it is available most of every day - and it doesn't wreck the landscape of this most beautiful of countries.

DAVID GERRARD

Spylaw Park

Edinburgh

Scotland is not overpopulated in relation to its heritage of natural resources, and we now have the opportunity to move progressively towards replacing combustion of diminishing reserves of fossil fuels and nuclear fission, as major sources of energy.

Since the industrial revolution started in Scotland, we now have a moral responsibility for helping to remedy the huge global environmental problem, of exploitation masquerading as progress, which this has created since the time of James Watt.

DR DAVID PURVES

Strathalmond Road

Edinburgh

I HAVE been following the debate on renewable energy for some time and the most recent pronouncements have led me to conclude that it's about time some classic old stories were rewritten to reflect life in modern Scotland.

We could start with "The Emperor's New Clothes". How about retitling it "The First Minister's Wind Farms"?

DAVID SHARPE

Birch View

Bearsden, Glasgow

ACCORDING to Ed Miliband, "Alex Salmond tells fairy stories on green energy" (16 April). Well, as a unionist he would say that, wouldn't he? He and his ilk do not wish to see Scotland succeed and prosper because they wish to be able to go on trying to convince us - against all the evidence to the contrary - that we're "too wee, too poor, too stupid".

PETER SWAIN

Tyme Cottage

Innerwick, Dunbar

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