Letter: Renewable hope

WE found that Alan J Black's letter (1 June) misses the point somewhat, while Paul Dorfman's letter very much hits it. Politicians are, in the end, elected by the people, and opinion polls show huge majorities of people in Germany do not want nuclear power - this was the situation before Fukushima, and only increased after it.

Is Mr Black suggesting they are just misguided and misinformed? There is also a larger number of people in the UK, and particularly in Scotland, who also oppose new nuclear build rather than support it, according to recent opinion surveys.

He should also ponder why the sensible Swiss have come to the same conclusion as Germany. Are they similarly misguided?

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What is more important now is that the strongest and most dynamic European economy is embracing energy efficiency and renewable energy and, given its economic track record, we have considerable confidence that it will meet its targets.

This will mean a huge expansion across Europe of jobs in both industries. Scotland can even benefit from it, should it continue to develop renewables and energy efficiency, as its own companies will be able to compete for many more contracts.

This is all bound to have a positive effect on carbon emissions. Nuclear-free Germany, nuclear-free Switzerland, nuclear-free Scotland - why not? A comparison we're very happy to see!

(Cllr) Bailie George Regan

Dundee City

(Cllr) Euan McLeod

Glasgow City

c/o Nuclear Free Local Authorities Scotland Forum Secretariat

Glasgow City Chambers

Your leader, "SNP must come clean on true cost of renewable energy" (31 May), compared Scotland's nuclear energy opt-out with Germany's. Another comparison with our Teutonic neighbours should also be made: they plan to reduce climate change emissions by 40 per cent by 2020 and by 85 per cent by 2050 - very similar to Scotland's pledges.

But there the similarity ends. Germany has compared the costs and benefits of new renewable generation with energy saving measures, and concluded that the latter make far better economic, social and environmental sense.

They are therefore investing more than €1.3 billion per year into energy-saving measures, with the aim of reducing electricity demand by 25 per cent by 2050.

In contrast, the Scottish Government is planning a 7 per cent increase in electricity demand by 2020, and slashed energy saving investment by a third in its 2011-12 budget.

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All of which begs the obvious question: why is it the Germans have got it so economically wrong yet again?

Chas Booth

Association for the Conservation of Energy

Carpet Lane