New energy model

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I was interested to read your editorial (27 November) after renewable energy generation hit new records, and surpassed nuclear, coal and gas for the first half of 2014.

You note it is “most encouraging” but argue that realism is required over the need for baseload nuclear and fossil fuel power.

Firstly, the productivity of renewable energy isn’t just encouraging; it is quite remarkable it has grown so fast, now providing a third of Scotland’s electricity generation.

This has been done despite the nay-saying of the fossil fuel and nuclear industries, which have fought tooth and nail to prevent it.

Secondly, energy storage technology for renewables is now coming to fruition, which will comprehensively reduce the issues around intermittency.

Nuclear Free Local Authorities advocates a wider renewable energy mix including tidal and geothermal energy, coupled with a more comprehensive energy efficiency programme and the encouragement of decentralised community-owned microgeneration projects.

This will be fairer to Scottish communities, it will more effectively tackle the scourge of fuel poverty and it could provide an important, revitalising role for local government.

Before 1947, local authorities earned more than half of their income from their local gas, electricity and water companies.

Now again, through the 
development of local authority energy service companies, being actively considered by many 
Scottish councils, it could play an important role in the move away from the inefficient centralised energy model advocated in your editorial.

Instead, a decentralised model focused on attacking fuel poverty and developing clean, green energy and renewable heat could become the answer to a fossil-free, nuclear-free future for Scotland and answer the concerns of sceptics like your editorial suggests.

(Cllr) Bill Butler

Convener, NFLA Scotland