YOU published a letter from the Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables about how we need to change to tackle climate change (December 3). A chief executive of a lobby group can be expected to act to promote her members’ business interests. What struck me was her equating of renewables with “secure generation”. Most renewables in the UK are weather-dependent. That is no more secure than our weather is dependable (Letters, December 5).

As if in reply to Scottish Renewables, the weather on Tuesday was calm. Across the whole UK, wind generated only four per cent of the electricity consumed. Weather-dependent renewables in total generated just over 5% while biomass, the polite name for burning mostly imported wood, was 8%. Did the UK reduce its electricity consumption accordingly? No, of course it didn’t. Instead the gas turbines fired up to provide more than half of our electricity and – horrifyingly – coal was used to meet nearly 10% of demand. Every electric car charged on Tuesday was charged up using coal and gas.

That is only electricity. The average house uses five times as much gas as electricity. Our domestic energy use is half the Scottish average, yet even with lots of insulation, very warm pullovers and minimal heating, we still use four times as much gas as electricity.

Despite misleading adverts, solar panels need sun, not just daylight, to generate optimally but even on sunny days in winter the low-angle weak sun generates little from our panels.

With Scotland’s politicians virtue signalling for a green nuclear-free future, we are on course for an electricity system dominated by wind, with a little hydro and tidal, and reliant upon interconnectors to England to import electricity when the wind doesn’t blow. There will be a small cushion of storage, able to provide power for hours rather than days. And if the electricity goes off, the heating goes off. So much for energy security. Now, where did I put my 5 season sleeping bag?

Dave and Kathryn Gordon,

60 Bonhard Road,


I WAS fascinated by your report on west coast ferry services, regarding warnings from industry leaders of changing wind directions causing problems since “Scottish ports and harbours are located and designed to protect ships from westerlies” (“Worsening weather will leave Scots islanders marooned”, The Herald, December 3).

Recently ,Caledonian Maritime Assets (CMAL ), Scottish industry leaders in harbour and ship procurement, as part of a £31.5 million redevelopment, realigned the pier at Brodick from the east-west axis it had occupied happily for hundreds of years, to a north east-south west axis which appears to be creating serious problems for the Ardrossan - Brodick ferry in an east or south east wind.

It makes a nice symmetry with Ardrossan which is problematic in a south or south westerly wind, but leaving Arran residents hoping for 12 months of north winds.

I had thought this was a monumental error but it seems I could be wrong. If all the events which the climatology report quoted in the article says “could “ happen actually come to pass, CMAL could be seen to have been prescient and ahead of the curve on this one.

This could make a nice double with the UK’s first dual-fuel ferry, the much delayed Glen Sannox, commissioned by CMAL for Brodick-Ardrossan, which

could perhaps come into

service round about the same

time and we all could live happily ever after.

Sandy MacAlister,

Shedock farm,

Shiskine, Isle of Arran.