AS she is paid to do, Morag Watson, director of policy for Scottish Renewables in her predictable criticism (Letters, May 31) of Struan Stevenson’s earlier challenging article (“March of the wind farms is destroying Scotland’s beauty – but we can stop it”, The Herald, May 27) praises the benefits of wind and solar generation and claims that their rapid increase is the way forward.
Perhaps she could explain my concern? With coal-fired generators being shut down, nuclear generating plants reaching the end of life accompanied by demand increases resulting from electric vehicles and hydrogen generation by electrolysis, where will the electricity come from on cold windless nights?
ENERGY CLAIM IS DISINGENUOUS
MORAG Watson is disingenuous in the way she promotes wind energy. She claims that renewable energy now provides the equivalent of 97.4 per cent of Scotland’s energy consumption. The key word here is “equivalent”, and her 97.4% figure is over a year, not from day to day.
Undoubtedly there are calm days when renewables only provide around 10% and gas power stations have to make up the shortfall, and also there are days when renewables provide more than 100% and we have to expensively pay to shut down wind turbines.
She also wrongly uses the word “energy” when she really means “electricity”. Renewables only provides 17% of Scotland’s energy.
* WIND energy on any day is lucky to be above 17%. Gas still produces the most electricity at 58 %. Solar is about 5%.
Wind is not cheap as Morag Watson says, as constraint payments have to be made when the Grid cannot use the power. In Sutherland this is £66.8 million and rising, for Gordonbush it is £19.9m.
With a whole rake of developments at planning this figure will rise considerably.
Perhaps Ms Watson will be content paying higher electricity bills to compensate for the constraint and community benefit payments.
Michael Baird, Bonar Bridge.
HOW DID IT COME TO THIS?
MORAG Watson should look to the future, when our reliable fossil fuel power stations have been closed and we are dependent on the wind for power. This is why smart meters were invented, as rationing will be needed. What else does she think they are actually for? How about differential pricing and phased disconnections when the wind does not blow?
Then when the windmills themselves are worn out, and the subsidy farmers who built them are long gone, we have a perfect storm of no fossil power and no wind power.
How in heavens name did the country that invented nuclear energy ever come to such a pathetic position?
SORRY, BUT I LIKE TURBINES
I RELISH Aileen Jackson’s letters and note her pleas for turbine extinction in my local area (Letters, May 31). Unfortunately for her, I like the turbines.
As I cycle the highways and byways around Neilston I see all the local small schemes, the individual turbines on the farms, the big farms at Whitelee and Dalry. They are elegant and statuesque.
They don’t pollute, they power my home, our industries and services, and my bike (at least partially).
I don’t think nature has been destroyed, I see wildlife everywhere and like watching out for the buzzards, the deer, the rabbits and the pheasants as I cycle about.
Allan McDougall, Neilston.