Letters: Renewables are part of the solution, not the problem

Have your say

Do you have something to say about any article in the News today – or anything else that’s on your mind? Let us know.

The report published by the Committee on Climate Change clearly demonstrates that green energy policies are not the main driver of rising energy bills.

The committee found that fossil fuel price rises had been responsible for 80 per cent of bill increases in the last six years, with the cost of gas adding nearly £300 to the average bill.

In contrast, UK Energy Secretary Chris Huhne recently revealed that the current cost of supporting onshore wind was around £5-6 on the average electricity bill.

Let’s not forget that this money is helping to establish our wind power capacity so that we’re not so reliant on volatile gas in the future.

We are too often letting a vociferous but ill-informed minority set the tone of the energy debate.

But ask these same know-alls how they plan to replace the 25 per cent loss of generating capacity projected over the next decade, and they’re short on answers.

It takes years to build a new nuclear or coal-fired power station.

In contrast, onshore wind farms can be built relatively quickly, require no fuel input and produce no carbon dioxide or harmful waste. New onshore wind is cheaper to generate per megawatt-hour than new nuclear or new gas.

Make no mistake, the UK is facing an energy crisis – but renewables are part of the solution, not the problem.

Graham Brown, chairman, Burcote Wind, Pitreavie Court, Queensferry Road, Dunfermline

Time to lift our heads out of sand

PETER Kent, the Canadian minister of the environment, said that Canada is withdrawing from the Kyoto protocol.

He said that the country would otherwise face crippling fines for failing to meet its CO2 reduction targets. The conference in Durban, South Africa, finished with no agreement but a face-saving fudge.

Few countries even pretend to be cutting CO2. Think America, China, India and Indonesia.

Will Alex Salmond up his CO2 reduction targets yet again so he can boast “the best CO2 reduction targets in the world”?

When will British politicians take their heads out of the sand and follow Canada’s example?

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

A small price to pay for health

COUNCILLOR Deirdre Brock (Letters, December 14) says she would like to point out “factual inaccuracies” in the opinion article published on behalf of the Splashback! campaign to save Leith Waterworld.

Firstly, Cllr Brock says it is incorrect to claim the Royal Commonwealth Pool refurbishment has gone £7m over budget. She claims the project “is progressing extremely well and will be completed as scheduled for a reopening next spring”.

However, according to council papers, when the decision to proceed with the pool refurbishment was taken in 2005, the budget was given as £29.72m.

As the cost is now projected to come in at £37m, that leads us to deduce an over-run of some £7m on the original figure.

The same papers scheduled the pool to reopen in January 2011. Edinburgh can now look forward to the re-opening of the pool at the end of March. The £300,000 we mention is the subsidy required to keep Leith Waterworld open each year, on top of receipts – precisely £320,000 in 2005 and £340,000 this year.

We will continue to argue that this relatively small sum, one per cent of Edinburgh Leisure’s budget, is an investment in the health and well-being of children and families.

Ida Maspero, on behalf of the Splashback! campaign

Don’t hide when the wind blows

LAST week, with the worst storm for years upon us, the police decreed that no-one should drive between certain hours. This is an example of the nanny state gone mad. Now adults are being treated as children.

Fortunately, however, common sense prevailed. Many drivers ignored the advice and went about their business driving carefully, without the roads turning into a scene of carnage.

Perhaps this is an example of what Britain has to do to emerge from its slump – ignore the gloom-mongers and naysayers, show those that say we can’t and shouldn’t do things that, actually, we can.

Maybe that way we would be able to weather the economic storm that is threatening to blow us away.

William Marshall, Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh