ON the one hand the Labour Party apparently hankers after an outmoded centralised, nationalised UK Grid concept, at an estimated £70 billion cost ("Labour to unveil £62bn plan to renationalise energy", The Herald, May 16); on the other, SNP’s Roseanna Cunningham promotes zero carbon emissions for Scotland by 2045, whilst Scotland remains blighted by massive fuel poverty issues ("Scotland leads way with green industrial revolution", The Herald, May 15).

The question is, is there an economic middle way out of this quagmire of unfunded and competing energy policy proposals?

EF Schumacher’s book, Small is Beautiful – A Study of economics as if People Mattered, remains relevant today. Modern technologies allow economic distributed localised energy production and consumption, versus vastly expensive and less secure centralised alternatives. Affordable new zero-energy houses have been designed and built in Scotland; existing buildings can be made energy-efficient and financed with economically-driven incentives and tax reliefs to the energy supply and distribution companies. District heating, from estuaries, lochs and flooded coal mines utilising heat pumps, can transform the cost of heat and hot water whilst greatly reducing carbon emissions.

So why is all this technological progress piecemeal? Examples exist in Glasgow of heat being taken from the Clyde Estuary and the flooded coal mine at Shettleston providing economic heat and hot water to the local community. Elsewhere in Scotland distilleries and incinerators use their waste heat for district heating for houses and hospitals.

Rolling out a comprehensive programme of distributed energy across Scotland to lower-carbon emissions needs pragmatic new financial and energy policies.

Perhaps Scotland’s proposed new Investment Bank and Stock Exchange and much-vaunted financial industry, can be given the taxation and legal incentives by our policy makers to allow them to work in partnership with our engineering industries to eliminate fuel poverty whilst greatly reducing carbon emissions.

Is this too much to hope for?

Elizabeth Marshall,

Edinburgh EH6.

IN 2015 the International Energy Agency published details of greenhouse gas emissions by country. At that time the UK had one per cent of the world's emissions compared with China (28 per cent) USA (15 per cent) India (6 per cent) and Russia (5 per cent). The UK will have a lower percentage now because of measures taken by the Government. Scotland's percentage must be around 0.2 per cent of CO2 emissions, an infinitesimal amount. Yet our MSPs, led by the First Minister, have made climate change into a religion, vying with each other to be the most zealous to lower our CO2 emissions. They and Extinction Rebellion should be picketing the Chinese and American embassies instead of lecturing to the Scottish public.

Richard McLellan, Lochgilphead.

MORE than 4,000 jobs at British Steel's plant in Scunthorpe and up to 20,000 in the supply chain are at risk as the company faces administration. The company requested a £70 million loan from the UK Government but so far this has been rejected.

More tellingly, just recently the company was granted a £120 million loan largely to pay a bill for European Union carbon credits. This is where the real problem lies. In the UK's rush to be green we have sacrificed our manufacturing industries to carbon credits, carbon levies and huge increases in energy costs whilst other countries ignore their carbon output and can produce steel much cheaper steel for sale in the UK. British jobs are lost but the green fanatics are delighted, believinge that they are "saving the planet". Meanwhile the rest of the world increases manufacturing, makes steel, burns fossil fuels and builds energy-cost-reducing coal-fired power plants at the rate of one a week.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.

WHY do some people think we won't need our Scottish oil? It will always be required to lubricate machinery, gearboxes (even for the wind turbines) and electric cars and so on.

The millions of barrels of our oil will always be needed to lubricate the machinery that will help to save the planet.

Bill Kerr,