Power play

How extraordinary to hear former energy minister Brian Wilson extolling the virtues of Drax. (“Hydro power can once again be a force for Scotland’s good”, Scotsman, 25 June) That will be the Drax that is ‘saving the planet’ by gobbling up whole forests, destroying wildlife habitats, and shipping timber half way across the world to feed its biomass incinerators.

This further lunacy demonstrates perfectly how utterly useless hundreds of giant, industrial wind turbines, carpeting our hills, are at providing constant, reliable energy as and when required.

Pumped storage is by definition not renewable energy! Our tides have been pumping vast quantities of water uphill for millions of years, twice a day, without the need for any giant bird-mincers, or ruined landscapes. It’s called tidal power, Brian.

The concrete required in hydro storage plants, for a paltry few minutes of back-up energy, is 18 times greater than even a nuclear plant which provides constant, baseload power, day in day out, 365 days a year. Nuclear plants in the UK, for example, require 2,025 times less land than wind.

Scotland’s scenic grandeur should be permanently protected for us and our children to inherit. It really is the beating heart of our tourist industry and ought not to be trashed any further, because of an ill-thought-out energy policy.

I met a German tourist recently, high on the hill above Loch Ness where another vast hydro scheme is also planned. As he scanned a horizon of wind turbines, he asked ruefully: “”How can you Scots allow this to happen?”

George Herraghty, Lhanbryde, Moray

SAS Volunteer

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