YOUR article on the costly subsidies given out to the smart meter industry ("Costly smart meter plan has not been very clever", Herald Business, March 24) highlights the huge payments provided to the renewables industry that receive little attention from the politicians at Holyrood.

The problem in Scotland is that the consequences of such policies are never debated yet there is a proposal from the CEO of Scottish Power that, as renewable energy is too expensive, the cost must be transferred to the taxpayer. Voters are still awaiting a response from the Finance Secretary as to whether she will include such a policy in her party manifesto for the 2021 election. The mistake by Alex Salmond and his deputy in failing to ensure that the English interconnector was expanded in line with every planning application for Scottish wind farms means there will be billions of pounds paid by the taxpayer in constraint payments over the summer as the current system does not have the capacity to export the excess energy to England.

Surely it is time that Holyrood pays a body such as the Fraser of Allander to carry out a review of the subsidy and infrastructure bills that will arise from a ban on fossil fuels.

Ian Moir, Castle Douglas.

THE dire, present threats to economies of nations battling the present viral pandemic together with financial damage to nations complying with programmes to curtail carbon dioxide to offset future climate changes cannot be achieved simultaneously.

Costs of dealing with the viral plague are huge but unquantifiable.

The vast expenses of trying to prevent adverse climate changes along with the projected, barely tolerable, damage to our lifestyles are set to stretch national economies to breaking point or beyond.

Therefore, attempts to tackle distant threats to us from global warming can safely and must now be put on the back burner.

(Dr) Charles Wardrop, Perth.

I AGREE with many of Mike Wilson's observations on the state of the planet (Letters, March 23). We have not looked after our beautiful planet, we are dismally failing future generations and in addition we pour billions into space exploration while an estimated 790 million people on Planet Earth do not have access to clean water, and around 1.8 billion people (25 per cent of the world's population) are without access to adequate sanitation. However, while God knows there is nothing good about the outbreak of coronavirus and it is hard to find even a sliver of a silver lining, at least the drastically cut number of planes taking off into our skies, and the miles and miles of roads empty of vehicles in increasing numbers of countries around the world is providing a semblance of environmental relief.

As we sit in our houses fortified by walls of toilet rolls, perhaps we should pass the time pondering on how we all can do things differently in future, and what real, wide-ranging and decisive environmental action we should be demanding of our governments when we finally emerge back into our bruised, battered and neglected world.

Ruth Marr, Stirling.