Heaps of coal

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JACK Ponton and John Williams (Letters, 11 June) worry that the “dash for wind” will leave us reliant on Europe for power when the wind does not blow. Do they know where the coal for ­Longannet comes from?

I was a regular traveller on the Rosyth-Zeebrugge ferry until it closed. I always liked to berth in the nice new and clean Rosyth terminal until one year it was filthy, dusty and with mounds of coal on the foreshore. The mines feeding Longannet had closed – flooding, they said – and coal is now imported from Poland. Mined by Polish miners, transported to a European port, sailed across the North Sea, dumped in Rosyth and originally trundled by lorry to Longannet until the railway was built.

Just recently another coal fiasco was reported. The Southern Uplands have been left massively scarred by the open-cast coal-mining companies which have gone bust.

Give me clean wind power any day. The wind is always blowing somewhere in Europe and there are lots of wind turbines over there – try visiting the Netherlands – so a bit of co-operation would go a long way.

George Shering

West Acres Drive

Newport-on-Tay, Fife

DR John Cameron states that developing countries will use coal to drive their economies and to get their people out of poverty (Letters, 12 June). A world without coal, as espoused by the green zealots, is unrealistic.

Coal is inexpensive and there are proven reserves to meet 113 years of global production.

How realistic is it to generate not only electricity, but also heating and transport fuels without fossil fuels worldwide?

In China, every 14 days, a coal-fired power plant is connected to the grid and these plants have a lifespan of over 40 emission-producing-years.

There are plans to build 1,200 new coal plants in 50 countries to add to the 2,300 already operating worldwide and not a carbon capture and storage plant on the horizon.

“Green Germany” has abandoned the planned carbon tax on coal power plants.

Due to renewables subsidies Germany’s electricity costs are 26 per cent higher than the EU average and compared with the US the difference is 150 per cent. The US uses shale gas.

A lesson here for Europe?

Clark Cross

Springfield Road

Linlithgow, West Lothian