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Understanding renewables policy


Your leader was right in one respect: more light needs to be shed on this important issue ("Clarity needed on renewables policy", June 5).


In particular, it should be clear that the subsidy which is at the heart of the matter is not paid from some mythical Government fund, but comes from the taxes and energy bills of Scottish voters.

You are right to point out that significant cuts in subsidies would make more wind farms economically unviable. But readers also deserve clarity about what their money might achieve if subsidies remain. In essence, even a 20% cut in carbon dioxide emissions in Scotland, the UK or even the entire EU, is completely irrelevant as China and other rapidly developing economies continue to build the power stations which literally fuel their growth.

Cutting Scottish emissions will hasten the export of energy-intensive jobs, replacing them at best with less secure green jobs, subsidised by taxpayers south of the Border.

And the jobs will go to those same rapidly developing countries from whom we will then import what we used to make. That will include wind turbine components, with Scottish jobs simply being in the construction sector.

Martin Livermore

Scientific Alliance

Current Issues

Future costs of UK energy supply

The Scientific Alliance recently published part 1 of an examination of National Grid's Future Energy Scenarios, dealing with security of supply. We are now pleased to publish part 2 - cost of supply. The authors - Dr Capell Aris and Colin Gibson - conclude that building more gas and nuclear stations would be considerably less expensive than any of the NG scenarios, as well as offering better energy security.

What's New

14 October 2016: Read the new report by Dr Capell Aris, published jointly with the Adam Smith Institute - Solar power in Britain: the Impossible Dream