Sir, – Imagine the scenario. The wind is blowing harder and harder.
The wind turbines spin faster and the windfarm operator is biting his nails.
It is getting close to when the turbines should be shut down to protect them from damage.
A game of dare ensues. Will the National Grid order the windfarm to shut down to protect the grid from blowing and plunging us into darkness before the turbines have to be turned off for their own survival?
If National Grid comes up trumps it will be enriching the wind operator by 30% or so more than if they had been generating normally and funnily, we pay for it: the huge subsidies, the eye-watering constraints and the grid upgrades.
We see our environment and wild lands ripped up to accommodate this land-hungry energy source.
We witness the giant pylon lines needed to cope with volatile wind striding through our glens and over our hills.
We look on in astonishment as monster sub-stations rise up from the ground to try to cope with power surges on the few occasions wind generates anything like its installed capacity.
Most of the time it doesn’t but the grid has to be enlarged to gigantic proportions just in case it does.
Of course, we can never predict when that will be and, as other countries are finding out fast, too much wind on the grid can lead to blackouts.
The tedious trumpeting by the wind industry, the Scottish Government and the likes of Lang Banks of WWF when wind manages to supply Scotland’s energy needs on a warm balmy Sunday, when the country’s needs were low, is more ludicrous each time they roll out another press release.
Luckily it was a Sunday. Cooking the family roast and watching the Olympics may well have saved the grid from blowing and even more constraints being paid.
Our future is renewable
Sir, – Critics of wind and other renewable power sources may have a point about current subsidies but that may be about to change.
Technological advances are making the unit price of renewable energy cheaper.
The latest offshore turbines are far bigger, generate more power and have smart technology to adapt to wind conditions.
More importantly, new power-storage techniques promise to provide the answer to turning off turbines when the wind blows too hard.The UK may soon enjoy a reliable and renewable source of power.
Solve smell at Melville
Sir, – We live in New Gilston but often pass through Melville Roundabout to go west.
I now, semi-jokingly call it Smellville Roundabout because of the eponymous stench emanating from the Lower Melville Woods landfill site.
We seem to be breathing in a fetid cocktail of obnoxious or perhaps noxious molecules.
The locals may now be somewhat nose-blind to this but must be aware that visits from friends and relatives are diminishing.
The recycling companies and the council may be verbally deodorising this issue but should be reminded that there is a nuisance act in force which covers odours and this scenario should not pertain indefinitely.
There are health and social implications to be considered.
A solution must be found to a situation where only anosmics have smiles on their faces.
I am aware that there have been numerous complaints from those directly affected but I am glad to stick my nose in if it helps.
19 New Gilston,
EU would not want Scotland
Sir, – The idea that Scotland could pull off a “reverse Greenland” and remain within the European Union may be welcomed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon but she really is grasping at straws.
Ms Sturgeon embarked on a diplomatic charm offensive to the continent but the EU leaders she met cast a jaundiced eye on Scotland’s colossal budget deficit.
They remember only too well another small nation with a dodgy economy, surrounded by islands, perched on the extremity of Europe, seeking membership of the euro: Greece.
Two-thirds of our exports go to England but just 15% to the continent and Brexit may have been a mistake but hiving ourselves off from the rest of the United Kingdom would be even worse.
Euro membership will expose us to severe asymmetric economic shocks and the European Central Bank is not going to be as sympathetic as the Bank of England.
Rev Dr John Cameron.
10 Howard Place,
End inertia of government
Sir, – I suggest that a new i-word should replace independence in the SNP’s dictionary.
My new word would be inertia.
Consider the named person policy and the minimum alcohol pricing policy going nowhere due to legal issues, mainly caused by a failure to anticipate the challenges.
Consider fracking where the SNP is sitting on the fence with its moratorium. Either it is safe to frack or it is not.
If it is safe, let’s get on with it. If it is not safe, let’s ban it. In the meantime, this is an example of another policy going nowhere.
In trying (laudably) to close the attainment gap, the First Minister appoints her capable deputy John Swinney. But even he won’t confront the teaching unions, COSLA and the education establishment, so this will be another policy failure.
What happened to the summer initiative to debate independence? Well, it has been delayed to the autumn. More inertia.
Finally, 15 months after his death in Kirkcaldy, Sheku Bayoh’s family wait to hear how he died.
Why doesn’t our First Minister pick up the phone and instruct the Lord Advocate to reach a conclusion on this tragic case?
I think it’s time for Labour, Liberal and Conservative leaders in Scotland to work together in an electoral arrangement to get rid of this inertia.
North Ayrshire is a small example of how it might be achieved.
Get back down to business
Sir, – I now see the courts are overwhelmed, the roads are full of potholes, the NHS is struggling, police are undermanned and we in Angus have to pay to get our garden waste removed and wait up to three weeks to get a doctor’s appointment.
Can someone please tell me who is running the country and what are they doing to rectify the shambles this country is in? And when, oh when, will they stop girning about independence and sort this country’s woes out.
110 Caesar Avenue,