MAGNUS Gardham (” will become a hot potato”, The Herald,
December 21) makes the common mistake of using the word “energy” when he
means “electricity”. Scotland’s electricity consumption is about
one-quarter of its total energy consumption. So renewable electricity in
2012 was only around 10% of total energy.
Too many people have been misled into thinking that trashing Scotland’s
mountains and moorlands for the highly-subsidised wind generation of
electricity lets us off the CO2 emissions hook.
While wind has some, probably exaggerated, value in CO2 reduction,
electricity generation is a very small part of our total ecological
footprint. The major parts are greenhouse gases embedded in imported goods
and services from abroad and from the rest of the UK. Scottish production
for Scottish consumption accounts for less than one-fifth of Scotland’s
consumption-based greenhouse gas emissions.
Scotland has too many people, consuming too much stuff. There is no sign
the Scottish Government or the major opposition parties are in the least
concerned about this – quite the opposite. They seek to promote consumption
at almost every turn and against all demographic logic seem to think that
by constantly importing younger people we can postpone forever the
difficulties of transitioning to a stable, older population structure.
Unless Scotland’s people and politicians get serious about the immense
changes in our economy and society that are needed to equitably address the
totality of Scotland’s environmental impact, we will continue on a course
that can only increase the likelihood of an unstable and unpleasant future.
But at least we will have the variably flickering electricity from wind
turbines to light our way there.
60 Bonhard Road,
MAGNUS Gardham mentions Ofgem’s Project TransmiT, which aims to cut
transmission charges for electricity generated in areas that could be
described as “remote” . That is Scotland, Wales and northern England.
Nothing illustrates the arrogance of our London-centred system of
government than these higher transmission charges. Charges for transfer of
goods are well understood by most of the population, particularly those who
reside in remote areas. Indeed, despite living only 19 miles from Glasgow,
I was contacted by the company supplying a new fridge to tell me that, as I
lived in a “remote area” there would be a surcharge on top of the standard
UK delivery charge. Apparently all PA postcodes came into the category of
remote. And that story illustrates the insult of the higher transmission
charges. They should be paid, as for other goods and services, not by the
generators, but by the recipients of the electricity.
In terms of delivery of electricity from renewables it is not Scotland that
is remote, but London.
Kenneth W Johnson,
West Gates Avenue,