Sir, – I can assure your correspondent Bob Ferguson that I am aware of the various power-storage system available but these are not only expensive but insignificant.
I like hydro and it is the largest provider but the UK’s present storage capacity of 27 GWh supplies about 45 minutes of average total demand.
To increase this significantly would need a high and low reservoir but most of the low-level lochs are sea lochs and creating a high sea water reservoir would be a disaster for the environment.
Charles Wilson says I have a “romantic attachment to fossil fuels”.
I am being realistic in that the drive for renewables was because of the disputed threat of global warming which other countries are ignoring.
All around the world countries are burning coal and Germany is building coal-fired plants.
There are 100,000 employed in Poland mining coal.
Renewable electricity is expensive which make Scotland’s industries uncompetitive.
The UK will soon be extracting shale gas and I suspect that, surprise, surprise, Nicola Sturgeon will suddenly announce that following detailed and intensive scientific scrutiny it will be safe for Scotland to join the shale bonanza.
Meanwhile, Scotland’s energy minister Paul Wheelhouse wants the UK government to subsidise pumped-hydro storage so that electricity can be stored when wind turbine output is high but demand is low.
As energy minister he should stop issuing sound bites and concentrate on security of electricity supply which is already critical. Scotland needs to import electricity from England on one day in five when the wind does not blow or blows too fiercely.
The small hydro sites which Mr Wheelhouse is talking about will be just a pinprick benefiting a few at the expense of many.
The energy minister needs a dose of reality and should admit wind turbines will never give security of supply and the inflated electricity prices they cause will ruin Scotland’s industries and stunt economic growth.
138 Springfield Road,
Reliability of fossil fuels
Sir, – Clark Cross has a romantic attachment to fossil fuels (August 25) because they produce cheap and reliable power, whereas renewables would not exist without expensive subsidy, and then they do not work. Reason enough.
Pragmatism not romance
Sir, – I note your publication of two recent letters challenging Clark Cross’s earlier letter (August 23) and I would like to respond as follows.
Bob Ferguson’s (August 24) response related to electricity storage.
Pumped storage has by far the largest capacity of the three technologies he mentions but even so has only the capability to meet demand for a matter of hours and the availability of new sites is severely limited.
As for compressed air and batteries, their capacities are tiny in comparison and suited only to the storage of relatively small quantities of electricity.
As for Charles Wilson’s (August 25) assertion that Mr Cross has a “romantic attachment” to fossil fuels, I would counter that, since fossil fuels currently meet around 85% of the world’s energy needs.
Mr Cross’s “attachment” is based more on pragmatism and reality than romance.
We have no right to kill wildlife
Sir, – While you are pondering the “problem” of seagulls, you might like to know that I have seen at least a dozen dea baby gulls on the roads near where I live.
They died searching for scraps of food.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds will tell you that all species of seagulls, including the herring gull, are on the red, or amber endangered list.
Why is it that the human race has no foresight and always waits until near sunset before it decides to rescue a particular species of bird, animal or insect?
Are we so blind that we cannot see?
Seagulls are a nuisance during the breeding season but we have to be tolerant of all living things.
We have no right to destroy wildlife or put it beyond the reach of our children.
Mrs J. Forrest.
26 Pettycur Road,
Prosecute pest seagulls
Sir, – I can’t believe the number of people in Dundee complaining that gulls and other birds have attacked them for food.
With all the CCTV footage shot all day, every day, there must be a lot of evidence available to prosecute these marauding birds for their actions. I think our bird life has more to fear from humans than we ever have to fear from birds.
83 Lawside Road,
Sir, – Derek Farmer (August 24) alleges that “weasel words from the SNP on the interpretation of benefits and welfare will do nothing to improve social cohesion in Scotland”.
If so, the SNP’s “weasel words” will have the same effect on social cohesion in Scotland as Mr Farmer’s letters have.
20 Baledmund Road,
Let police wear highland dress
Sir, – Police Scotland is to allow women police officers to wear the hijab.
I thought a uniform was just that: a uniform, universal, similar, meticulous, distinctive and without variance for all members of an organisation for the public to recognise it as such.
Why should we stop there? Shouldn’t we allow highland dress as well. If we can have the hijab why not the sporran and the glengarry ?
Why not police in kilts? This is an awful decision by the chief constable.
9 Justice Park,
Use Prestwick for exports
Sir, – There is a campaign for a further runway at Heathrow to help UK exports. Currently, the largest export by weight at Heathrow is Scottish salmon.
Why are the SNP not looking at having the salmon exported through Prestwick to bring some income for Scottish taxpayers and offset some of the taxpayer losses on keeping Prestwick in existence?
112 Coldingham Place,
We cannot meet EU fiscal rules
Sir, – Is Scottish Government Finance Secretary Derek Mackay, being obtuse or is he just not very bright?
Mr Mackay insists Scotland’s 9.5% deficit wouldn’t stop an independent Scotland joining the European Union because the UK’s deficit during the financial crisis was similarly appalling.
The point is the EU absolutely demands a country to have a deficit no more than 3% of GDP as a prerequisite for joining.
The UK was a long-standing EU member in 2008. To reach 3%, Scotland will need to achieve unparalleled economic growth or massive tax increases or huge public spending cuts. Or all three.
4 Royal Circus,