THE premise that wind energy will lead to lower electricity costs is one that I believe fails the credibility test.

There is no solution that compensates for the fact that there is no wind power when the wind does not blow. If we are to have security of electricity supply, we additionally need gas and/or nuclear-generating capacity equal to UK peak demand. Either that or the lights will definitely start going out – and frequently. Having to maintain this parallel standby network of gas and nuclear adds an inescapable cost to national electricity supply. Renewables push up the unit cost of electricity. Germany and Denmark top the world charts for electricity costs and have done for years due to the pursuit of a carbon-free nirvana.

As for the statement that wind power costs have reduced ("Hope renewables will help bring the cost of our bills down", The Herald, November 10) – is the wind suddenly blowing much more, so allowing the generation of more electricity per pound of operating cost? No. It takes little effort to examine the audited accounts of a range of wind farm operators. Capital and operating costs are edging up year by year at the same time as generating performance gradually decreases due to wear and tear. Think for a moment – the components of a wind farm are steel, concrete, labour, loan interest and rare metals such as lithium. Are any of these going down in price? If wind turbines are suddenly made in the UK rather than China where labour, steel and energy are significantly cheaper than we have here, do you think the cost of a turbine will go down?

A wind turbine can only yield electricity when the wind blows. This is about 40 per cent of the time across the on and offshore turbine estate. You only have a product to sell when the wind blows in excess of your needs. Nobody can predict when this is. You can only have a market to sell into when there is a gap in somebody else’s supply. You can’t predict this either. Basing a business model on something so uncertain is ridiculous.

By way of illustration, turbines have been going up at an average rate of 10 per week since the year 2000 so there are about 12,000 wind turbines in the UK now. If we are to produce 100% of our electricity from wind power, we will need another 36,000 turbines to do the job. This will take 69 years.
Andy Cartwright, Glasgow

Renewables still need oil

MERELY a passing thought on the lack of joined-up thinking of the Just Stop Oil protesters ... and good luck with that one, however an inconvenient truth is that their favourite totem poles, the wind turbines, wouldn't last very long without petroleum products.

For just how long do they think the gearboxes would seamlessly mesh with a substitute plant mush warmed up with a wee solar panel instead of oil or the blades and bearings keep turning lubricated by sticky willie instead of grease?

There is of course the extreme option of reverting to the old ways, grabbing the harpoon and using sperm oil, but I imagine that would be anathema to them and they would prefer us to just leave it in the whale.

Only saying...
David O'Hara, Glasgow

So why not boycott Qatar?

SO much recent adverse media comment on the upcoming football World Cup in Qatar with most of the criticism is driven by those with an agenda outraged by a country whose laws discriminate against those who are not heterosexual and who treat foreign workers in a way that would not be acceptable in the West.

That the competition was awarded to this country in the first place is hard to justify and rumours persist that brown envelopes played a huge part but regardless, the fact is the World Cup is going ahead in Qatar later this month.

Certain teams who qualified for the finals have made various statements saying they will take actions to show that they disagree with the Qatar regime, England for example stating their captain will wear a rainbow armband.

This is all well and good, but if the feeling of some competing countries is so anti the laws of the hosts and against their principles then why are they going at all?

There is an age-old saying that is just as relevant now as when it was first pronounced: "When in Rome ....."
James Martin, Bearsden

Be prepared for gang show

YOUR “Remember when” picture recalling the Glasgow Gang Show of 1983 ("Whipping up audience enthusiasm", The Herald, November 10) was great to see, and remarkably timely. Although Glasgow Gang Show is no longer running, South Western District Gang Show is staging its post-pandemic come-back show at Hutchesons Grammar School, Glasgow, on November 19 and 20. We are thrilled to have been able once again to bring this opportunity to the Scouting community of Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Explorers and Leaders in South Western District of Clyde Scouts. Seeing the cast have fun and working hard, developing new skills and confidence, as they prepare for “showtime” has been terrific.

Although this is only our fourth show, we are delighted to be able to celebrate 90 years of Gang Show in our performance this year. Coincidentally, we also have an “Old Glasgow” scene, which links back to the 1983 photograph, with old street games again being featured.

The South Western District Gang are really looking forward to putting on their show and making memories.
Rena J Fletcher, Manager, South Western District Gang Show, Giffnock

The best way to be rude

I DEPLORE the recent “slit your throat” directive of the now ex-Minister of State at Westminster to a senior civil servant, but am unable to accept the suggestion that “Awa and bile yer heid” would have been acceptable at Holyrood, given the mechanics of that exercise; and I believe that “Aff wi’ yer heid” as a suitable alternative offered by Alan M Morris, with its overtone of royal command, is perhaps inconsistent in a democracy (Letters, November 10 & 11).

My own preference lies with a healthy “Take a running jump” or a humane “Yer bum’s oot the windae”.
R Russell Smith, Largs


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