Today’s letters to The Courier.
Sir, The report published recently 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% 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.
Meanwhile, a YouGov poll commissioned by the Sunday Times this week found that 56% of the public think that Britain should use more wind power compared to only 19% opposed.
In spite of this, 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% 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 and that’s if government makes quick decisions and the planning process is straightforward, neither of which apply.
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.
So, do we simply wish to become ever more dependent on imported fossil fuels, or do we want to take steps towards diversifying our own generating capacity to help insulate ourselves against the volatility of fossil fuel prices?
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.15 Pitreavie Court,Dunfermline.
Brechin left off funding list!
Sir, I was delighted to read of the creation of the £5 million Cities Investment Fund announced by the Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon. However, I notice that the City of Brechin has been omitted from the list of cities sharing in the fund.
I’m sure that this was a simple oversight, and I am certain that following representation from our local councillors, MSP and MP to Nicola Sturgeon, this will be rectified. As a small city we would only expect a level of funding pro rata to that of our near city neighbour.
The monies would indeed be a tremendous boost to sustain our economic recovery, stimulate economic activity, create jobs in our area and help us realise our vision.
We are a distinct and different city nestling in a most beautiful part of Scotland, and our improved performance would benefit all of Scotland.Grahame Lockhart.15 Scott Street,Brechin.
Why is diesel so expensive?
Sir, It was interesting to read the article on the variation in fuel prices throughout the country but the only fact that never seems to be discussed is the huge difference between the price of diesel and petrol.
Why is diesel now almost 10p per litre more expensive than petrol when historically it was always cheaper? Is it because there are more diesel cars on the road now or is it more expensive to produce or refine, or is it taxed at a higher rate?
Haulage depends on diesel which we will all pay directly or indirectly and we are almost the only country in Western Europe where diesel is more expensive than petrol. I would be extremely grateful to anyone who could explain the reason for this differential to me.
I assume it is not an environmental issue as most modern diesels have fairly low emissions, but I would be delighted to hear from anyone who could explain the reason for the huge price difference.V. Connor.53 Taylor Street,Forfar.
The glamour of (local) politics
Sir, In response to Mr Rourke’s amusement at my complaining (being not chuffed) about the low temperature at a meeting in Forfar Town Hall and his admonition of councillors for not ‘putting on another layer of clothing’, as the poor and elderly are advised to do, I feel I have to let him know that I was already kitted out in thermals.
Being a councillor in Angus means you have to be ready to go straight from a committee meeting indoors to a site visit outdoors, in all weathers. Who says politics isn’t glamorous?
I was told a few days later that there had been a problem with the central heating controls that particular morning and the heating hadn’t come on at all. So the thermostat was not the problem. (David Clegg you are forgiven!)
We carried on with the business and believe me it was uncomfortably chilly. Members of the public were present, as were council staff, press and councillors and none of these groups should be expected to attend meetings in low temperatures.
A lot of hot air is produced at these meetings, but even that didn’t help that morning and some of those attending were white with the cold.
So to all those who can find it in their heart to have sympathy for a cauld tattie cooncillor I would like to send warm greetings for the festive season!(Cllr) Jean Lee.Monifieth & Sidlaw Ward 4, Angus Council.Get involved: to have your say on these or any other topics, email your letter to email@example.com or send to Letters Editor, The Courier, 80 Kingsway East, Dundee DD4 8SL.