Readers' letters: We need to talk about energy policy

We have a frightening energy bill crisis coming but the Conservative party at Westminster and Tory leadership contenders appear not to care. The official opposition is not much better.

Martin Lewis, who presents the Money Show on STV, estimates energy bills will rise in October to up to £2980 a year for the average household. He thinks the real figure will be higher.

Then another energy consultant expects the price cap to go to £4266 in January and stay there for a while. This is likely to then go up again.

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According to Lewis the crisis of poverty will hit 10 million people. In this massive crisis the responsibility lies with Westminster as energy is not devolved.

There is likely to be public unrest, mass non-payment of bills and a great deal of suffering.

Westminster will not tax or regulate the energy companies, will not insulate and move to cheaper renewables, and will not bring companies into the public realm like France, to keep the bills down.

The companies are making gross profits and speculating to make more. There is little talk of putting in government support to people faced with bills.

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Scotland needs to get away and run its own affairs for its population democratically, with a constitution.

It generates 98 per cent of its electricity from renewables now but is hamstrung as the UK electricity pricing is tied to sky-high gas pricing with 40 per cent of electricity in England from gas generation.

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Then Scotland has to pay more for grid access. Energy companies needs taxed, in particular fossil fuel companies, cheaper renewables developed with public ownership and benefit and prices lowered.

Pol Yates, Edinburgh.

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Wood pellets are not green fuel source

Drax power station, which burns wood pellets to produce electricity, is not green. The pellets come from 27 million trees in forests in the US and Canada and are shipped 4500 miles to Immingham creating 1.5 million tons of CO2 every year.

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Drax is only 38 per cent efficient so for every ten trees burnt only four produce electricity.

Burning wood is wrongly classed as "renewable" because the trees cut down are replaced by saplings but they will take 50 to 100 years to suck up the CO2 that mature trees do.

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Burning wood releases similar amounts of CO2 as coal. Drax is the UK's biggest emitter of CO2 so why do taxpayers subsidise the plant by £839 million a year

Burning trees accelerates climate change rather than slowing it down, but since Drax supplies 6 per cent of UK electricity there will be yet another greenwash.

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Clark Cross, Linlithgow.

And the winner is streetscape numpties

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The film industry celebrates its successes with the Oscars. Its failures are acknowledged by the Raspberries,

In Scotland, excellence in Civic Design is recognised by the Saltire Awards. Maybe it is time to recognise its failures. Perhaps they could be called the Numpties?

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There would be no shortage of nominees. Edinburgh Council’s “Spaces for People” measures would be an ideal nomination.

Ill-conceived, random, inconsistent with Edin-burgh’s UNESCO Heritage Statius. And invariably, deserted by pedestrians. Not cycle friendly either! A cyclist’s slalom.

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Which might explain why the cycle lanes are usually empty. And meanwhile the buses get bunched up. Hardly a triumph for green travel.

Professor Paul W Jowitt CBE FREng, Edinburgh.

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We welcome your thoughts. Write to [email protected] including name, address and phone number – we won't print full details. Keep letters under 300 words, with no attachments. If referring to an article, include date, page number and heading.

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