I NOTE with some interest all this talk of greenhouse gases and global warming that currently seems to exercise both your journalists and your readers. The one surprising factor is that, although nuclear power is by far the greenest form of power generation in terms of CO2 production, it is also met with the same degree of shock, horror and despair by the self-same climate protesters.

Is it just the name? No one seems to have any great difficulty with the universal use of radio therapy to treat cancers or x-ray machines to keep us safe at airports. I could also mention our sun that converts 600 million tonnes of hydrogen into helium every second by the process of nuclear fusion. Perhaps that would be throwing too much light on the subject?

D H Telford, Fairlie.

IN my recent Agenda article ("Engineering will be key to solving net zero problems", The Herald, November 1), I wrote about the problems we face with the net zero target set by the UK independent Committee on Climate Change (although that was erroneously changed to the Scottish Parliament's climate change committee by The Herald).

Of topical interest too might be my Agenda piece of January 16, 2018 referring to the likelihood that we would have to start installing synchronous compensators (SCs) around Scotland to attempt to stabilise/control our frequency and voltage and to sustain our system electrical strength. Scottish Power now is anticipating just such a course of action. An SC is a large rotating machine similar to a generator which does not produce power but provides rotational inertia and supports system voltage.

All of this results from increasing wind turbine generation and now requires huge financial investment to attempt to return Scotland to something approaching the security of supply and operation that large high inertia power station generation previously guaranteed.

ScottishPower anticipates having to provide up to seven large-scale synchronous compensators totalling 2100MVA, which approaches the previous related capability of Longannet, across south Scotland and is considering locating them at Hunterston, Kincardine, Strathaven and Eccles near Kelso, the latter to also help mitigate the rising stability threat to our existing overhead link to/from England.

This demonstrates the real overall surging cost of our wind generation and yet will not improve our ability to recover from a grid “Black Start” in Scotland which remains at several days, also as a consequence of our pursuit of wind generation, as I covered in my Herald letter of 29th Nov 2018.

If ScottishPower succeeds in its application to Ofgem to accept this new investment as “infrastructure” then the general public across the UK will pay for them through their bills and not ScottishPower, which then acquires the assets.

Some might question why ScottishPower allowed this situation to develop without investing earlier to offset it.

DB Watson, Cumbernauld.

Neology anthology

MY compliments to columnist Mark Smith for his commentivised introduction of new words to describe changing political times. ("From spedge to splarge: new words to help you cope", The Herald, November 8 ).

His journolevity was refreshivising and provided much-needed Brex-et-Indyref respite.

R Russell Smith, Kilbirnie.