There is much wailing and gnashing of teeth by a renewables industry fearful of losing subsidies we pay through our energy bills. Before accepting their claims about job losses and reduced investment in Scotland, we should consider another aspect of the publicly funded bonanza energy companies enjoy.
Those subsidies are heaped on consumers’ bills rather than paid through progressive taxation. Consequently, the poorest among us bear a disproportionately high burden. Four households in every ten in Scotland are now living in fuel poverty. In the Western Isles, the corresponding figure is an almost unbelievable seven in every ten.
Lobbyists for the renewables industry and the politicians who support them so uncritically ignore the recessionary effect of such widespread poverty; the choke-hold it exerts on demand for goods and services and the local jobs lost as a result. For every massively subsidised temporary post in the onshore wind farm industry, many others could be created in hard-pressed communities.
A genuinely green solution would be for the Scottish Government to increase the current miserly levels of investment in domestic energy efficiency to increase local employment, reduce carbon emissions and relieve people of that stark choice between eating and heating.
Dr Ken Brown
Once again Alan Hinnrichs regales us with his all too familiar rant against fracking (Letters, 13 July). Previous letters indicate that he is against fossil fuels use in general and also against nuclear generation. Rather than telling us what he doesn’t like, could he please tell us how he foresees our future energy requirements being met?
Oh, and by the way, wind turbine construction has resulted in serious groundwater/surface water pollution and yet we hear little about this – either from Mr Hinnrichs or the wind lobby.