YOU published a letter from the Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables
about how we need to change to tackle climate change (December 3). A chief
executive of a lobby group can be expected to act to promote her members’
business interests. What struck me was her equating of renewables with
“secure generation”. Most renewables in the UK are weather-dependent. That
is no more secure than our weather is dependable (Letters, December 5).
As if in reply to Scottish Renewables, the weather on Tuesday was calm.
Across the whole UK, wind generated only four per cent of the electricity
consumed. Weather-dependent renewables in total generated just over 5%
while biomass, the polite name for burning mostly imported wood, was 8%.
Did the UK reduce its electricity consumption accordingly? No, of course it
didn’t. Instead the gas turbines fired up to provide more than half of our
electricity and – horrifyingly – coal was used to meet nearly 10% of
demand. Every electric car charged on Tuesday was charged up using coal and
That is only electricity. The average house uses five times as much gas as
electricity. Our domestic energy use is half the Scottish average, yet even
with lots of insulation, very warm pullovers and minimal heating, we still
use four times as much gas as electricity.
Despite misleading adverts, solar panels need sun, not just daylight, to
generate optimally but even on sunny days in winter the low-angle weak sun
generates little from our panels.
With Scotland’s politicians virtue signalling for a green nuclear-free
future, we are on course for an electricity system dominated by wind, with
a little hydro and tidal, and reliant upon interconnectors to England to
import electricity when the wind doesn’t blow. There will be a small
cushion of storage, able to provide power for hours rather than days. And
if the electricity goes off, the heating goes off. So much for energy
security. Now, where did I put my 5 season sleeping bag?
Dave and Kathryn Gordon,
60 Bonhard Road,