I WAS stunned to read your article in which Humza Yousaf accused the UK Government of inflicting "significant damage" on rural Scotland ("Yousaf warns of rural ‘damage’", The Herald, April 5).

He should surely know what "significant damage" is as he and his ministers are currently supporting, according to staff of the company involved, global investment company SSEN’s mission in absolutely trashing rural Scotland with hundreds of pylons more than 60 metres high and 800-acre substation sites as big as Glasgow Airport. Freedom of Information requests show that SSEN and its parent company SSE has had the equivalent of no planning applications refused by the Scottish Government for at least 15 years. Quite a record even for one of the biggest and most successful multinationals in Scotland.

The tsunami of planning applications about to hit traumatised rural communities is to encourage thousands more onshore wind turbines of 200 metres-plus that Scotland doesn’t need and the consumer can’t afford. With a bottleneck already at England’s grid border and no alternative routes out, all this over-deployed wind power will have literally nowhere to flow to and turbines will be switched off and millions more paid by consumers to the operators to not generate into the grid. It's money for nothing.

Wind operators can generate into their own battery storage and get paid constraints for what they would have generated into the grid and then sell the same electricity back to us, according to reports, when demand is higher. Battery storage is another terrifying concept being rolled out across rural Scotland with police warning in Keith, for example, that if the one there catches fire they will have to "cordon off" the town as they have no chance of putting out the fire. Should we even be supporting the unregulated and highly polluting industry for lithium and other rare earths just so we can pretend to go green? It’s a lot more than "significant damage" overseas, Mr Yousaf, or do you just not care about our fellow man in those countries?

In a cost of living crisis we have to ask the First Minister: is it morally acceptable to further burden the consumer by the enrichment of multinationals for wind energy there are no guaranteed customers for? The destruction across Scotland will be mindblowing if SSEN gets its way.

It won’t be "significant damage", it will an industrial apocalypse of concrete and steel, lost homes, lost livelihoods, lost environment, lost wildlife and lost hopes and dreams. People will leave, if they can afford to. If they can’t they risk the distress of living in a home that grows too big for them to manage and denies young families larger properties to move into. A social disaster is on the horizon and all because Mr Yousaf picked a side: the wrong side for his rural communities. Shame on him.

Lyndsey Ward, Spokeswoman for Communities B4 Power Companies, Beauly.

• THE article by Derek Thomson, Scottish Secretary of Unite ("There's no green jobs revolution. It's a myth", The Herald, April 5) was an excellent summation of the current state of a green transition in Scotland. However, what was lacking was a review of the type of energy system required to meet the needs of consumers in 2045.

For example, the SNP Energy Paper outlines an increase in the current 15GW of wind capacity to 60GW at a cost of around £270 billion to meet a maximum demand of only 20GW. However we know that the Energy Minister has no faith in an inefficient, unreliable technology since there is to be a 25GW back-up gas turbine network to keep the lights on in Scotland. No cost estimates have been provided for such a system.

Why not look at ditching wind technology and move towards hydrogen-fuelled gas turbines? Five plants built on former power station sites at Peterhead, Longannet, Cockenzie, Hunterston and Chapelcross would ensure security of supply with electrolysers, storage vessels and gas turbines all situated in close proximity.

Hopefully Unite will address the SNP's proposed energy policy and analyse the minimum debt cost for Scottish consumers to repay by 2045 whilst maintaining security of output to meet customer demand.

Ian Moir, Castle Douglas.

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We have to tighten our belts

WHAT is it about homo sapiens that we cannot find it within us to live in harmony with nature, of which we are but one part of that entire jigsaw?

Instead, imagining ourselves as the pinnacle of creation, hubristically we continue to exploit and to exhaust the finite minerals of our planet to provide us with the standards of living we assume to be our right.

Currently our concentration centres upon developing our use of the natural resources which are never in short supply but are not permanently on tap, namely solar energy, wind power and tidal surges.

Now that we are on the road to converting to green energy resources, because those resources have lulls we need to focus upon developing storage facilities to keep our power grids running freely without intermissions. To do that, it will be necessary to extract the finite supply of the minerals available to produce those storage facilities and, in doing so, we will be depleting nature's reserves. That will amount to taking with one hand and throwing away with the other.

Has it occurred to anyone that the time has come to downsize and to come to our senses over the demand for growth?

If our planet is to survive our depredations, we will have to accept that a tightening of our belts will be compulsory, if we do not wish to drag our ecology beyond its limits of survival.

Denis Bruce, Bishopbriggs.

We deserve far better

A PHOTOGRAPH featured on your Letters Page last week (April 2) was of Humza Yousaf, Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater, each with a huge smile on their face, probably reflective of their reminding themselves that they are the luckiest three people in Scotland.

Based on information in the public domain, I estimate they take home, between them, +/- £36,000 per month, no doubt plus expenses, with Mr Yousaf himself pocketing over £14,000 per month.

This level of remuneration must put them at the top of the “highest-paid, least able” league, so no wonder they are smiling in your published photograph.

If we are prepared to pay this level of remuneration, which we probably need to be, then the people of Scotland deserve far better qualified, far more able, experienced and competent leadership than this, if we are to create a generally better, more prosperous, healthier, more fair, safer and better-educated society.

So long as we exist under what has manifested into a quite ridiculous - and very expensive - multi-layered, “out of control” version of devolution, Scotland needs the best possible strategic thinking and relationship-building talent at the top of the tree.

Quite simply, Mr Yousaf falls very far short of requirements, which even many of his SNP colleagues would agree with, as do Mr Harvie and Ms Slater. Objective examination of their respective track records proves this.

The old adage comes to mind: if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. Well, the Scottish taxpayer is paying fillet steak and lobster, washed down with champagne, and the smiling monkeys are laughing all the way to their banks.

Paul McPhail, Glasgow.

The Herald: Patrick Harvie, Humza Yousaf and Lorna SlaterPatrick Harvie, Humza Yousaf and Lorna Slater (Image: PA)

Not the time to replace PM

CHRISTOPHER H Jones (Letters, April 3) urges the replacement of Rishi Sunak by Penny Mordaunt.

While Ms Mordaunt may have many excellent qualities, I doubt that a further change of Prime Minister would be good for the overall quality of government.

In fact, I wonder if one of the reasons for the lacklusture performance of the current government is because of the relatively frequent changes of PM.

I suspect that the pace of government will mark time while the selection process takes place, then the new incumbent of 10 Downing Street appoints a new cabinet. If they remain in power for long enough, they may have a reshuffle, but the constant rapid turnover of ministers means that they, and their civil servants cannot get to know each other well enough to drive departmental functions forward in a purposeful and constructive manner.

Christopher W Ide, Waterfoot.

Farrell should have stood firm

POLICE Scotland has been swamped with at least 4,000 complaints since the divisive Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act became law on, appropriately, April 1. More serious crimes will not be investigated and the public will blame the police. This would be wrong, it is not the police but the Police Scotland Chief Constable Joanna Farrell, who has a salary of £221,383, who should be blamed. She should have had the courage to tell the politicians that the Act was unworkable and that the police would never be able to cope.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.