WHEREAS I accept that Lindsay Roberts, Senior Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables, is just doing her job by peddling the myth that "power supplied by renewable energy technologies reduces the need for power from other sources, thereby reducing fossil fuel consumption and harmful emissions" (Letters, February 8) there is no credible evidence to support her assertion. There is, however plenty of evidence to the contrary that supports my statement that renewable technologies are in fact adding to CO2 emissions.
A recent report by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) stated that "Renewable electricity generation was 83.3 TWh in 2015, an increase of 28.9 per cent on the 64.7 TWh in 2014, with bioenergy up by 27.8 per cent and wind generation up 26.4 per cent. Renewables’ share of electricity generation was a record 24.7 per cent in 2015, an increase of 5.6 percentage points on the 19.1 per cent in 2014. Renewable electricity capacity was 30.0 GW at the end of 2015, a 21.9 per cent increase (5.4 GW) on a year earlier."
Although the above is probably music to Ms Roberts's ears, however, there is another report from BEIS that clearly shows that CO2 emissions from burning natural gas, in the main, have gone up by 3.7 per cent despite an increase of 28.9 per cent to 83.3TWh in electricity generation in 2015: "Final energy consumption increased by 2,291 ktoe (1.7 per cent) in 2015 to 137,430 ktoe. The majority of the increase was due to gas which increased by 1,481 ktoe (3.7 per cent). The domestic sector saw the biggest increase in both absolute and percentage terms; by 1,391 ktoe (3.6 per cent)"
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Unfortunately for planet Earth, we have wasted the last 40 years generating junk electricity from wind, waves and tides that merely delays the inevitable burning of our dwindling supplies of fossil fuels for a few hours at best, but does not stop it from being burned. Burning woody biomass instead of coal to raise steam actually increases CO2 emissions by up to 25 per cent and, in any event, cutting down perfectly healthy trees that put back two oxygen atoms into the atmosphere from every CO2 molecule by photosynthesis makes it the stupidest 'renewable energy' scheme ever devised.
We must accept that renewables that convert wind, waves and tides into tiny pulses of pretty worthless electricity is a failed experiment and we must move on to a brave new world where renewable electricity is delivered non-intermittently 24-7 without burning anything at all. Nobody knows when our planet's reserves of coal, gas and oil will run out, but a good start would be for governments worldwide to stop paying all subsidies for intermittent junk electricity that requires fossil fuels to back it up. President Trump may well be the first to do so!
Andrew H Mackay,
Causewayside, Glenaldie, Tain.