SO Storm Erik got the wind turbines turning at last and trade association RenewableUK’s executive director Emma Pinchbeck came out of the traps at full gallop extolling the wonderment that is consumer-subsidised wind power ("Storm brings energy record", The Herald, February 13). She enthused that "at one of the coldest times of the year, when we need it most, wind is generating over a third of Britain’s power needs, setting a new clean energy record’.

This predictable haste in telling us how lucky we are to be over-deploying on industrial wind just because thousands of turbines have managed a half-decent attempt at supplying us with some unreliable power is beginning to insult the public’s intelligence.

Where was all this wind power before Erik rocked up? Ms Pinchbeck omits to tell us that image-shattering nugget. From my home in the Highlands it was freezing cold for several days and not a puff was to be had. The turbines wherever we saw them stood idle, frozen in time quietly drawing energy from the grid to keep their hundreds of litres of oil fluid and the mechanism at working temperature for when Erik or one of his windy buddies turns up.

Ms Pinchbeck continued: “Onshore wind is already the cheapest source of new power in the UK and can make a major contribution to meeting our carbon reduction targets and keeping bills down.”

That sounds all fine and dandy until you drill down into the detail. If you added the cost for the necessary 24/7 back-up required for unreliable wind it’s not quite so cheap after all. If you added in the carbon footprint of this required stand-by generation and the grid connection for often-remote wind farms any emissions savings claims would be highly dubious. As for keeping bills down, this is where we are all being taken for fools. We all see our electricity costs rocket year on year as we pay for the wind subsidies, extortionate constraints payments and extensive grid upgrades needed for volatile wind. I wonder how many consumers would willingly pay these charges if they had a choice?

Lyndsey Ward,

Darach Brae, Beauly.

IT has been announced that the world's biggest offshore wind farm, Hornsea One off the coast of Yorkshire, is now supplying electricity to the Grid. It is taking the record over from the previous largest offshore windfarm, which was off Cumbria.

Hornsea One is the first of four giant offshore wind farms planned for the area. It is being developed by a Danish company and the turbines will be supplied by Siemens.

Hornsea One will receive a strike price of over £155/MWh, three times the normal market price for electricity. This subsidy arrangement is more than double the unit subsidy for all of Scotland's onshore wind farms.

You have a correspondent from Castle Douglas who never tires of writing to The Herald pointing out that "big generous" England pays 90 per cent of the subsidy for Scotland's wind farms, so could I draw his attention to the fact that under the GB electricity subsidy levelisation arrangement "small poor" Scotland will pay around 10 per cent of this massive Hornsea One subsidy cost; and indeed all other electricity subsidies in England. However, if Scotland became independent we would not have to pay these massive costs.

Nick Dekker,

1 Nairn Way, Cumbernauld.

THE public are harangued on a daily basis by the climate industry. An industry is what it is and they are collecting their salaries, grants, research payments, subsidies and lecture tour fees. The UK public are told what they must do to prevent an apocalypse and the world burning to a crisp. Stop eating meat, give up your car, do not fly and do not wash. Ok I made up the last one.

Meanwhile in the real world China's methane emissions are rising at an alarming rate especially so since methane traps 28 times more heat than carbon dioxide.

China is the world's largest producer and consumer of coal.

Methane is released from coal mining yet China is opening more mines and building more coal-fired power plants in China and planning and financing mines and coal-fired plants in other countries of the world.

The climate industry people should go to China on an emissions lecture tour and give us all a break from their disaster theories. Remember their theories introduced punitive green taxes which have cost the UK industry and the public £8.6 billion every year.

Clark Cross,

138 Springfield Road, Linlithgow.

YOUR article about the extraction of heat from the River Clyde ("Bank on a flow of heat", The Herald, February 14) had a significant omission. The Tallship Glenlee, berthed in front of the Riverside Museum, has been taking heat from the river for the past 10 years in an environmentally friendly-heating system. Metal heat collectors located next to the ship are used to expand pressurised inert gases and force them through a valve, providing heat to power on-board radiators and water heaters.

This was one of the first structures in Scotland to benefit from such technology and was probably the first floating museum ship in the world to be heated with renewable energy.

Elizabeth Allen,

Vice-Chair of Trustees, Clyde Maritime Trust, 150 Pointhouse Place, Glasgow.