I WAS so saddened to read about the latest report and analysis from SSEN, which is part of the SSE Group (“North of Scotland cash call to meet net-zero targets”, The Herald, May 12). What is being called for is further destruction of our pristine landscapes with more unreliable giant wind turbines and grid upgrades as hideous and dominating as the Beauly to Denny. Once-pleasant train journeys from the Highlands marvelling at our stunning environment are now spent desperately trying to not look out of the window as numerous gigantic alien structures loom menacingly out of once-treasured landscapes.
Such monstrous industrialisation is needed because wind energy is erratic and can be volatile. The grid capacity has to be able to cope with the sometimes-violent surges of electricity from wind turbines that are neither predictable nor easily manageable.
Have these developers no souls? Do they not appreciate that we need to preserve unspoilt places for the environment and for our own health?
Scotland is famous the world over for its spectacular views and sense of wildness that is easily accessible by so many. Finding a vista without turbines or the ever-increasing numbers of pylons and transmission lines that are needed to service them is becoming increasingly difficult.
Like all developers SSE is looking out for itself and its shareholders. There is no evidence that wind power will change what the climate does or really help achieve net zero or reduce our bills. It will certainly never give us energy security, as even a million turbines will produce zilch if the wind doesn’t blow. Building even more is nonsensical when the ones we have now produce excess in times of low demand and we have to spend millions switching them off and compensating the operator more than if they were generating. Viable storage is an expensive pipe dream and we have spent, and are still spending, billions of pounds of our money chasing green unicorns. It is time to stop fantasising and get real. We need reliable and affordable energy and the factoid that wind is getting cheaper belies the truth. The current Contracts for Difference loophole that wind operators are exploiting to our detriment is going to cost us half a billion pounds for just one wind farm and SSE wants more? Of course it does. This is not about saving the planet, this is about saving its profits.
Scotland has done enough for electricity production. If the thousands of turbines we have now are not solving the problem of affordable reliable energy then surely even the unresearched can understand we should be investing in something else that doesn’t tear up the environment, decimate wildlife, divide our communities or threaten our vital tourism industry. If the Scottish Government actually cared about its people it would stop listening to those with massive vested interests and instead to the independent engineers and economists who warned more than a decade ago that going headlong down the windy path would be a catastrophic and expensive mistake.
Lyndsey Ward, Beauly.
APPROACH TO ENERGY IS SHORT-SIGHTED
IT has been six months since the end of COP26. Since then we have moved from being told that oil is an out of date “stranded asset” with no future potential to Government ministers menacingly requesting that multinational companies increase their investments in North Sea production.
The lifespan of oil and gas projects is measured in decades but the short-sightedness of our foolhardy approach to energy is measured in increasingly expensive bills. Sadly it is those with the least ability to pay who will shoulder the burden of virtue-chasing, feel-good policy decisions.
Tom Walker, Loanhead.
* CONGRATULATIONS to Des McGhee (Letters, May 12) for his innovative solutions to the current cost of living crisis. His suggested proposal to reform the pricing structures for domestic gas and electricity are first class. He should send Boris Johnson a copy.
Tom Gray, Clarkston.
HARD DECISIONS ON RAIL AWAIT
TRAVELLING by bus between Largs and Ayr on a Sunday is only possible between nine and four o’clock, limiting the much-vaunted green travel so desired by the Scottish Government.
Now we face the alternative Sunday rail travel being disrupted by strike action (“Train drivers to be balloted on action”, The Herald, May 13); it is all going so well for the the nationalised service. Will the Scottish Government hold out for a realistic settlement or will it cave in to avoid toxic blame? The rail unions hold all the aces but the Scottish Government must surely realise that a big percentage pay rise now is an even bigger percentage pay rise later with associated costs to running the business. And will it bring in all the freebie travel available on the buses?
Will it raise the fares to cover the additional costs?
Just how much can be shaken from the magic money tree?
Just how many plates can be spun on top of the poles by the First Minister?
Peter Wright, West Kilbride.
WITH reference to the ongoing coverage of the Rooney v Hardy story in The Herald and the broadcast media (“Rooney v Vardy libel battle is a detective story, High Court judge is told”, The Herald, May 11), am I alone in expressing despair that not just footballers but also their wives employ agents?
But it is equally alarming that so many of the public take such an interest in this trivia. It seems our obsession with “personalities” knows no bounds.
Willie Towers, Alford.
HALF-BAKED IDEA FROM THE BBC
MILLIONS in fuel and food poverty and the BBC has a programme about a competition for a pudding to mark the Queen’s jubilee (The Jubilee Pudding: 70 Years In The Baking, BBC1, May 12). You couldn’t make it up.
Steve Barnet, Gargunnock.
FOR years I have struggled with a particular problem: what to call someone with whom you are romantically attached but not married to. The word usually used is partner, but to me that has business connotations, and introductions can be misconstrued.
The only satisfactory description I can think of is bidey-in, but I am sure your readers can think of something better.
Gordon Berry, Ayr.