Scots can’t rely on renewables

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THE government’s latest 
published statistics (for 2011) do not support Jenny Hogan’s claim (Letters, 11 August) 
that Scotland produces more electricity from renewables than coal or gas. In that year only 16 per cent of electricity came from renewables, or 
26 per cent if one includes 
hydro-generation. But 39 per cent came from burning coal or gas. Renewables (excepting hydro) have a long way to go to exceed the 33 per cent that came from nuclear generation.

It should be made clear that, if Scotland exports 26 per cent of its electricity (not shown by government statistics), one cannot know how much of that comes from renewables. At times, most of it will be from conventional sources. If Scotland attempted to generate all its electricity from renewables, not only will there be no exports; without imports there will be blackouts.

Steuart Campbell, Edinburgh

JENNY Hogan of Scottish Renewables (Letters, 11 August) will indeed probably see 100 per cent of Scottish electricity being generated from renewables, if only because of the closing of conventional power stations, such is our mad dash to be rid of them.

What she will not see, however, will be a continuity of electricity supply when we have to rely on the vagaries of wind. That is also the catch that the subsidy farmers, who produce part-time electricity as a sideline, don’t tell us about.

Malcolm Parkin, Kinross

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