I AM inclined to agree with the initial comments by Ian Moir (Letters, June 16) that surprisingly little debate on renewable energy featured in the General Election. Given the existential crisis for humans that global warming represents, that it has not reached the top of the agenda for politicians here and in other countries remains a mystery. The withdrawal of the primary world polluter, namely the United States, from participation in the global plans to restrict fossil fuel use, is little short of extraordinary. However in relation to the growth of renewables in Scotland Mr Moir is wrong. It is not just the power required by the electricity industry which needs to be converted to renewable sources. This is the easy bit. Climate change demands that all of our power consumption requirements, including heating and transport, must be fossil fuel-free. Currently Scotland’s energy needs add up to 142TWh, 22 per cent of which is directed toward electricity supply. The electricity supply industry will need to be four times larger to power our society once fossil fuels are abandoned. We have clearly a considerable way to go in converting to renewables, not just here but around the world.

It should perhaps be emphasised that the intermittency problem, which is tediously recited by critics of renewable power, is well on its way to a solution through increasingly successful developments in large scale battery storage and in low level or coastal hydroelectric storage.

Alan J Sangster,

37 Craigmount Terrace, Edinburgh.

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