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Renewable costs



Niall Stuart of Scottish Renewables suggests that renewable energy technologies are not as expensive as critics claim, based on selective use of data from an International Energy Agency report (letters, 15 November). Mr Stuart is, of course, only doing his job, but readers should not be misled. The costs which count are those pertaining to Scotland, and here it is a fact that consumers pay extra via feed-in tariffs to support otherwise uneconomic wind turbines, while coal- and gas-fired stations sell cheaper electricity with no public subsidy.

Cost is not the only issue. We should not forget that, without conventional generation backup, wind, wave, tidal and solar power are incapable of providing the secure and reliable energy supply consumers and industry have a right to expect. If the renewables lobby has hard data which proves otherwise, I would be delighted to see it.

Martin Livermore