IT is heartening to see that renewable energy, particularly wind, is providing an ever-growing share of Scotland's energy needs ("Increase in wind power output is welcomed", The Herald, April 2).

I fully agree with WWF's Lang Banks that the key now is to develop sophisticated energy storage solutions, coupled with a more definitive energy efficiency programme.

The Scottish Government needs to provide financial and effective support to allow councils to play an important role in this lowcarbon future. The likes of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Fife, Dundee and the island councils are all doing excellent work in developing new renewable energy sources like geothermal, district heating, solar, LED lighting and the like, as well as investing in improvements to the energy efficiency of social housing stock in Scotland to reduce the scourge of fuel poverty. Many councils are also pushing forward in a real step-change by the development of local energy service companies and supporting and enabling the push for community energy co-operatives.

The last decade has seen Scotland, and the wider UK, at last embrace a low-carbon energy future that moves away from fossil fuel dependency and the risks and waste problems of nuclear power. With a more sophisticated energy strategy that takes advantage of rapid technological advances in energy storage, and prioritises energy demand management, a low-carbon, safe, sustainable energy programme in Scotland can be assured. It is important for politicians of all parties to deliver it.

Councillor Bill Butler

Convener, Nuclear Free Local Authorities Scotland

c/o NFLA Scotland Secretariat, Glasgow City Chambers, George Square, Glasgow.

WE live in a society wherein the corporate sector is expected, indeed required, to maximise short-term gain for the immediate benefit of shareholders and not necessarily for the good of the country and its people.

Thus I have to reluctantly admit that, within this context, the determination of Scottish Renewables to maximise its members' income from onshore wind subsidies is understandable even if there is no evidence from objective sources that current policies are founded on the most cost-effective strategy for reducing CO2 emissions, creating local jobs and promoting inward investment.

The turbine, in its relentless march across our land, is a symbol not of the fight against climate change but of the supremacy of neo-liberal economics. What is more, given the SNP Government's wholehearted support for the economics of such an energy strategy, I cannot but wonder if things would be any different in an independent or quasi-independent Scotland.

John Milne,

9 Ardgowan Drive,