IN response to Malcolm Parkin (Letters, January 20), I would like to set the record straight on a number of points.

A recent review by the University of Edinburgh conclusively showed that wind farms pay back the carbon produced during their construction within two years, making them one of the best tools we have for tackling climate change and nature recovery.

Additionally, National Grid has said that the idea of a baseload power requirement is "outdated" and will be ready to run a fully zero-carbon electricity system by 2025.

Onshore wind is the backbone of Scotland’s electricity system, producing around half of our electricity demand and employing more than 10,000 people, and its further development is essential if we are to lower consumer bills, revitalise our communities and cut the carbon emissions which are produced by burning fossil fuels.

We are in the red zone of the climate emergency, and if we are to meet our climate change targets and create a healthier, safer, cleaner environment for future generations this must change, and further development suitably sited in the right places must deliver that change.
Mark Richardson, Senior Policy Manager, Scottish Renewables, Glasgow

• FURTHER to Malcolm Parkin's letter, the newly-announced Green Freeport of Opportunity Cromarty Firth (OCF) has said that it will get involved with mini-nuclear power schemes as part of its overall function.

As Mr Parkin states, it is essential that we have a baseload of electricity production and this cannot be done on wind power alone.
Michael Baird, Bonar Bridge

• THE SNP and their supporters often claim that the windmills in Scotland supply enough electricity for Scotland's needs. But these turbines are not owned by the Scottish Government but by companies, mostly foreign, which supply the National Grid with electricity and are paid handsomely for it. If on independence the Scottish government wanted to keep all or most of this electricity in Scotland it would have to nationalise the electricity providers and pay trillions in compensation to the energy companies.

This could only come from Scottish taxpayers. But what would they do on a windless day? They would have to buy gas and nuclear-generated electricity from England and France.
Clark Cross, Linlithgow

Why there's a ring of steel

VICKY Allan ("Giant turbines or climate hell? I know which one I’d rather", The Herald, January 17) states that No Ring of Steel is an anti-wind farm group. This is not true. It is a group campaigning against wind farms in the wrong locations, focused on stopping a rural village in Sutherland from being closely surrounded by multiple wind farms in each direction (the ring of steel).

Unfortunately this is typical of the current dialogue – you are either for wind farms or against them. I suggest that we all need to work harder at getting them in the right places.
Elinor Ross, Dunblane

The downside of centralisation

GEORGE Dale (Letters, January 19) expressed a view held by many that many areas of Scotland are no longer seeing constructive and long-term investment. Your correspondence, reports and opinion pieces constantly reflect frustration over the effects that this is having on our country.

One other matter worth throwing into the pot is the ongoing centralisation of local government. Mr Dale's letter reminded me of a late-night programme on BBC Scotland covering shinty and the communities where this was most popular.

At one point the views of an interviewee in Kingussie struck a chord. He was remarking on the population size of the village and the problems associated with the movement of young people to the Central Belt and elsewhere thus affecting the mix of talents needed for sports and general community wellbeing.

The man stated that he totally understood the policies of decision makers and their advisors that promote centralisation and the economies that the statistics suggested would accrue. However, he said, what had not been taken into account was that this policy was in fact depopulating communities all over the country away from Edinburgh and Glasgow and that slowly but surely a subtle form of clearance was under way. Reduced population sizes no longer need the services that cities do, so why support them?

Should this be allowed to carry on? Should the downside of centralisation be exposed for the harm that it has done and is doing?
Ian Gray, Croftamie

Crack down on the supermarkets

FURTHER to my letter on profiteering which you kindly published on January 12, I would like to follow up by highlighting the record profits that have now been announced by our large supermarket chains.

We are bombarded on all sides with people declaring the disaster that is the cost of living crisis. We seem to being told that there is nothing to be done about it. Tea and sympathy all round, more heat than light.

It's about time the Government got on top of the blatant profiteering by our large supermarkets. As per my original letter there are clear examples where they are applying 200% profit margins to some goods. The RAC recently reported that they are charging 10p per litre excess profit on fuel. Their transport fuel costs must have been cut by 25% over recent weeks but is that being passed on to customers ? I seriously doubt it.

Our supermarkets need to do their bit in this crisis and if they don't it's down to our politicians to hold them to account. We can't just sit back and accept that nothing can be done when it can.

A lot of things are out of our control but this isn't one of them and it's about time our representatives got on top of this.
Ian McNair, Cellardyke

Shopping? Put a lid on it

I DISLIKE the stuffy interior feel of shopping malls. I like the outdoor feel of shopping streets but could do without the rain. Answer? Destroy and re-utilise the two monster malls and build canopies over the pedestrian bits of Sauchiehall Street, Buchanan Streey and Argyll Street, thereby allowing the current street shop stock to be revitalised by shoppers strolling in relative comfort ("What’s next for Golden Z?", The Herald, January 18).
John Murdoch, Glasgow


HeraldScotland:

Letters should not exceed 500 words. We reserve the right to edit submissions.