With COP28 now under way, the focus is back on the environment and climate change, and in particular on the transition away from fossil fuels. 

Earlier this week, the UK Government’s Nuclear Minister Andrew Bowie urged Scotland to re-engage with nuclear power, a stance that vexed two of our correspondents. 

Read more: Scotland is self-sufficient in renewables, we don't need nuclear

Today a reader argues the case for both nuclear and gas. 


George Rennie of Inverness writes: 

"You published two letters (November 30) claiming that Scotland does not need nuclear power since, it is claimed, it is self-sufficient in renewables. A few facts illustrate the lack of depth to this argument. 

"While reading the letters, 31 per cent of Scotland’s electricity was being generated at Torness Nuclear Power Station with a further 19 per cent generated by gas turbines. That is, half of Scotland’s electricity was being generated by power stations which it is intended to shut down. 

"To give some idea of the importance of nuclear and gas generation, Torness can supply 1,190MW while gas-fuelled Peterhead Power Station can supply 1,180MW. 

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"In contrast, the Whitelees wind farm, the UK’s largest onshore wind farm, has an installed capacity of 539MW but it is dependent upon wind conditions. When I most recently visited it (on October 14), it was displaying the figure of 3793MWh as the average daily output over the preceding three months.

"Dividing this figure by the 24 hours in a day gives an average output of 158MW. 

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"This morning, rather than being generated in Scotland, three per cent of Scotland’s electricity was imported. When Torness closes, rather than Scotland being self-sufficient in energy, we can expect to see the proportion of electricity imported across the border significantly increasing. 

"Virtue-signalling and political rhetoric will not keep the lights on."