A COMMON thread running through newspaper articles over recent days is the claim that "the cheapest forms of power generation are on-shore wind and solar panels " ("Time for being coy is over: Shout your love of renewables", The Herald, September 16). Whilst the statement is correct, the problem is that it is only part of cost to the consumer. There is the price of transmission and distribution plus the 11 per cent green levy to be added to the price the consumer pays for renewable electricity, raising the cost to around 16p/unit. Indeed it is noticeable that not a single MSP has responded to the claim by the CEO of ScottishPower that renewable costs mean that future price increases could mean the burden needs to be passed to the taxpayer ("Power chief warning for home owners on climate cost reality", The Herald, June 21).

In spite of the fact that the First Minister had to admit that the Holyrood pledge to eliminate fuel poverty by 2016 could not be met, the Environment Secretary then promised to ban the use of 150 TWhours of gas (4p/unit) over the next decade, thus pledging a huge increase in fuel bills/

ScottishPower estimates the current 50 TWhours of electricity needs to expand to 200 TWhours to charge electric vehicles which means a total renewable output of 350 TWhours once gas is phased out by 2026. Wind turbines are very inefficient (circa 20 per cent load factors) hence it will need 200,000 MW of renewable energy at a cost of about £400 billion.

Ian Moir, Castle Douglas.