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Wind power

Once again you have published comments from members of various wind energy interest and lobby groups heralding another “record” of wind generation (your report, 6 July).

However, the claim that in June Scottish wind generation could have provided electricity for 1.7 million homes is actually unimpressive.

Installed wind capacity in Scotland is about 5.6GW. Were this to operate at its nominal output it could provide electricity for more than 10 million homes. But of course it does not, and this makes these claims both irrelevant and fatuous.

Scottish Government Throws More Taxpayers’ Money Away on “Zero Emissions” Ferry

Scientific Alliance Scotland has criticised the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise for wasting £200,000 of taxpayers’ money on a three year feasibility study into the development of a “zero emissions” passenger ferry to be powered by a hydrogen fuel cell and charged using surplus renewable electricity.  Engineers at the Scottish Government quango Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) have been engaged in a long-running feasibility study with other agencies to explore the potential for the technology in a marine environment.

Intermittency of UK wind power generation 2011 and 2012

Derek Partington, formerly a Chartered Engineer and member of the Institute of Physics and Institute of Measurement and Control, has analysed the published data on UK wind turbine output for a two-year period and concludes that wind farms can make no significant contribution to the country's electricity grid without an equivalent conventional generation backup. His report and an appendix of further data can be downloaded below.  

World Health Organisation (WHO) classes glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic”

Joanna Clarke (Letters, 18 August) states that the World Health Organisation (WHO) classes glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic”. Only the cancer agency of the Who made this claim.

The WHO agency on pesticide residues, the US Environment Protection Agency and most importantly the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment that contains easily the largest toxicological data base on glyphosate, disagree with this designation.

Carbon dioxide

In his letter (1 August) challenging Clark Cross, Walter 
Attwood of Friends of the Earth starts by making the assertion that carbon dioxide is a pollutant. This is blatantly not true. Carbon dioxide is essential to plant growth and indeed for all life on earth. The photosynthesis of carbon dioxide by plants results in the generation of the oxygen necessary to enable us all to survive.

Neither has there been any of the irresponsible, fear-inducing, green zealot claim that increasing carbon emissions will result in the world becoming “uninhabitable”.

Colin Gibson: Time we faced fact wind and solar power costly

ABANDONING coal and gas is doing industry no favours, writes Colin Gibson

Events in March highlighted the deepening malaise of Britain’s energy industry; our electricity is proving too expensive for heavy industries and the subsidised expansion of intermittent renewables has disrupted supply to the point where cheap, efficient gas generators are forced to operate uneconomically and operators are reluctant to build new capacity.

Keith Burns: Time for a switch of electricity strategy

INADEQUATE investment in power generation is leaving us short of capacity to cope, writes Keith Burns

On a mild still day last November a serious problem crept up on the UK electricity network. Darkness approached, lights came on and industrial demand stayed high. National Grid declared a “Notification of Inadequate System Margin” in order to bring in more generating capacity.


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