Clear evidence

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I WRITE to offer further information on the displacement of carbon dioxide emissions by Scotland’s wind energy generation, in response to the assertion that figures provided by Scottish Renewables were misleading (Letters, 10 May).

The most comprehensive piece of research of the relationship between renewables and carbon emissions was published this year by National Grid and is available on the website of the Scottish Parliament’s economy, energy and tourism committee.

The clear conclusion of the study is that every unit of wind power displaces 99.92 per cent of the CO² that would otherwise have been emitted by thermal power generation had wind not been generating – even allowing for the variable nature of wind output and the need for reserve. Quite simply, wind displaces emissions from polluting forms of energy.

As stated by Scottish Renewables in Letters (8 May), the UK government estimated that in 2011 (the most recent available data), renewables in Scotland displaced more than 8.3 million tonnes of CO². This may not represent a large portion of global emissions, but that should not preclude Scotland from taking action on climate change in parallel with the expansion of renewables in all the world’s developed economies, which are increasingly turning to wind, hydro, marine energy and biomass.

We have the resources, the talent and now the technology to reduce our carbon emissions and achieve ambitious targets. Although just one part of the solution, wind power is making a significant contribution to Scottish efforts to deliver a low-carbon future.

Niall Stuart

Chief Executive

Scottish Renewables