I READ with interest DB Watson's comments about renewables and average household electricity consumption (Letters, February 26).

Any figure for the number of homes that can be electrically powered by a particular source of large-scale electricity generation is always going to be an equivalent. After all, when you turn on your kettle or toaster at home, it is not possible to know whether the electricity you are using came from a wind farm or a coal-fired power station.

However, I would like to assure readers that the figure Scottish Renewables uses for the average annual household electricity consumption is based on Scottish Government data, which is 4.9MWh.

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This figure is higher than the RenewableUK figure of 4.26MWh due to the cooler Scottish climate, as DB Watson correctly points out, but importantly already does take into account electricity consumption for heating.

The Scottish renewables industry is not arguing that electricity generated from renewable sources can fulfil our current demand for heat. This is why we supported the introduction of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), which encourages domestic and commercial users to install renewable heating technologies, such as biomass boilers, to heat their homes and businesses.

As the wholesale cost of gas has been the single largest contributor to rising energy bills, any means of reducing our reliance on this volatile resource should be welcomed as a means of insulating consumers from potential price shocks.

Joss Blamire,

Senior policy manager,

Scottish Renewables,

Bath Street,


DB Watson's letter was a delight to read. His expert knowledge and data simply and clearly illustrates the true facts concerning Scotland's energy supply.

As he points out, the problem is an engineering one that is being incorrectly controlled by subsided business interests and political laymen. A poll for or against independence or a political party is a matter of opinion; voting in a poll for or against wind farms is not about lay persons' opinions, it is about complex engineering.

Who would, for example, ask the public's opinion on the best means of tackling cancer? Such decisions should be left to the experts. It is to be hoped the DB Watsons of Scotland are handed back the responsibility of energy decision-making before our lights go out.

Bob Hamilton,

55 Halbeath Road,