I NOTE with interest Vicky Allan’s excellent article (“The battle for the future of Scotland’s energy is key election focal point”, The Herald, June 18). I would like to disagree with one or two statements.
Unfortunately the politicians are not focusing on the main issues or addressing the infrastructure investment required. Oil and gas extraction from the North Sea is not the main issue as the UK will require these to be produced locally or imported in substantial amounts for the next 25 years. It makes economic sense not to be totally dependent on imports. Those who propose increasing substantial capacity of onshore and offshore wind generation fail to recognise that the grid can only cope with this increase if there is a corresponding increase in the amount of gas generators to stabilise the grid. Where will the gas come from?
Ms Allan also says “there are valid pragmatic and economic arguments against nuclear”. The safety record of nuclear is one of the best of all the sources of power generation in the UK. Do misinformed views apply to “pragmatic arguments?”.
There is no economic argument against nuclear. Hinkley Point C power station was considered to be too expensive with an initial strike price of £92 per MWH in 2014 subject to inflation. This strike price in September 2023 was £128 per MWH. If this plant had been built with public sector borrowing the strike price today would be approximately £88 per MWH. Compare these nuclear prices to the current licence agreements the government has agreed for offshore wind with energy companies earlier this year. Initially the government offered these at £120 per MWH but none was taken up and these were renegotiated and accepted at £176 per MWH. I would suggest there is an economic argument against offshore wind compared with nuclear.
It should also be noted the strike price for offshore wind is misleading as these plants are intermittent and need back-up to stabilise the grid which require additional investments.
Charles Scott, Edinburgh.

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