ELIZABETH Marshall’s letter (April 13) on electricity shortages makes sober reading but echoes conclusions reached by most members of the Scientific Alliance Scotland. Scotland’s electricity supply has survived up to now thanks to the foresight of scientists and engineers who ran the old South of Scotland Electricity Board and the North of Scotland hydro electricity board. They placed two nuclear power stations, coal-fired and oil-fired power stations mixed in with hydro that has ensured up until recently that Scotland easily had a reliable supply. Frequent excess could be passed down south and in the case of any short fall supply stability maintained from the rest of the UK.

Margaret Thatcher broke up and privatised the electricity supply; potential price was considered more important than supply stability. But it then provided the opportunity for politicians to use electricity generation for party political purposes and they were not slow in doing it. The fundamental requirement of any civilised society is the provision of a reliable electricity supply and that it be as cheap as possible because economic activity jobs and general employment are utterly dependent on price as the present situation with UK steel indicates.

Politicians have not acted responsibly, price has increased because of political sentiment and desires to lead the world in supposed green policies but at the expense of the people who live here.

It is time to put electricity generation back into the hands of qualified scientists and engineers who understand how to ensure that Scotland receives a stable abundant supply, to establish a uniformity of price throughout and that electricity generation be removed from the onerous and unnecessary policies that increase price.

Professor Tony Trewavas,

Scientific Alliance Scotland,

7-9 North St David Street,