Energy figures
Among other somewhat ridiculous assertions Dr Richard Dixon (Scotsman, 15 September ) claims that our new PM is “backing far-off, ridiculously expensive, nuclear power”.
Instead of such waffle, let’s do a Kelvin and at at least try to put in the numbers that every serious scientific argument requires.
The new Hinkley Point C nuclear power station will produce 3.1 GW for 60 years at an installation cost of £26billion – that’s about £140m per GWyr of essential baseload.
Almost finished is our latest and largest windfarm, Seagreen, off the Angus coast, which will, according to its owners, produce an average 0.55GW for 25 years at an installation cost of £3 billion or £218 million per GWyr of intermittent supply
It will take about six Seagreens (600 plus huge turbines covering an area of near 7000 square miles) to equal Hinkley’s output and a huge and costly increase in energy storage to make them truly viable.
The nuclear station, I have no doubt, will be more expensive to run than offshore windfarm equivalency.
I am unable to make numerical comparisons but it seems to me that, contrary to such wild assertions as Dr Dixon’s, it is going to be neither ridiculously expensive compared with wind power nor so much later in delivery than its wind power near equivalent.
Dr A McCormick, Terregles, Dumfries
Fracking alarm
Clark Cross does well to lay to rest the alarmism against fracking in his letter of 17 September.
Opponents of hydraulic fracturing major on the supposed harmful chemicals used. But the high pressure water and sand mixture has only one chemical, polyacrylamide, which makes up 0.05 per cent of the solution.
Polyacrylamide has been declared safe by the Environment Agency, and is also used in the manufacture of contact lenses.
We will need natural gas for decades to come, so it makes sense to get it from Lancashire and other areas rather than import it.
The British Geological Survey has estimated there may be over two trillion cubic feet of onshore gas reserves in Britain.
William Loneskie, Lauder

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