Gas will remain
Having read Clark Cross’s apocalyptic letter (21 February) regarding the phasing out of gas within five years, my initial reaction was to bin it as complete nonsense.
However, I decided perhaps I should check the facts, just in case there was some truth there. I am glad to report that, having read The Carbon Brief, what is actually proposed is that coal-fired power stations will be phased out by 2027.
All three Westminster party leaders have signed up to this and it’s very sensible, because coal is a major cause of carbon emissions.
Gas will continue to be used for many years, and even if we should move to a completely renewable energy economy, it will still be distributed to households, in the form of hydrogen, generated by the hydrolysis of water.
Brian Wilson (Perspective, 21 Feb) makes a compelling case against the antics of this government over generating policy but I think misses the basic issue.
We have only survived this far because of the foresight of the old Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB), run by scientists and engineers who planned decades ahead for the likely energy needs of the UK population.
The CEGB was dismembered purely for ideological reasons – the market knows best, we were told; competition would ensure low, stable prices for electricity and gas. The reader will be aware of the failure of that.
The mess we now face with threatened blackouts next winter is down to one failing: allowing politicians to interfere, and the short-termism that governs their activities.
The solution is to re-establish a system like the old CEGB, putting generating policy back in the hands of those with the knowledge and experience.
The market is poor at dealing with what is rightly described as the lifeblood of our econ- omy.
(Prof) Tony Trewavas FRS
Scientific Alliance Scotland
North St David Street