SEVERAL correspondents recently have tried to suggest that because the wind did not blow on one or two days means that renewable energy is not viable. The reality, especially in Scotland, is that even with these days taken into consideration Scotland still generated more electricity than it needs from renewables with net exports of electricity to other UK nations in 2023 amounting to 15.9 TWh.

If we have to generate some electricity for the calm days using gas we will still be reducing carbon emissions by a significant amount and other forms of renewable power are available with tidal power providing a reliable source covering large time periods.

In the UK nearly 50% of electricity generation is from renewable sources and this will increase significantly with the upgrade to the National Grid allowing more electricity from Scotland to travel south.

December 2023 was the 15th month in a row where zero-carbon generation produced more than fossil fuel generation.

If we place any emphasis on the scientific assessment, accepted throughout the world, that the increase in carbon emissions from human activity has impacted on global warming then reducing this significantly might save the planet and make it habitable in the future.

It’s a big gamble to carry on in the hope that we are not responsible and the consequences could affect all our children, cause mass migration and certain global conflict.

The reference by George Herraghty (May 12) to wind turbines being industrial bird-mincers is ridiculous when human activity has caused the world's wildlife populations to plummet by more than two-thirds in the last 50 years, according to a report from the World Wildlife Fund. I do however agree that the removal of wood-burning stoves in “rural” areas which are more susceptible to electricity failure is unnecessary and will result in no significant benefit.

UK Government figures for December 2020 showed renewable sources generated 41.4% of the electricity produced in the UK, being around 6% of total UK energy usage.

The fact that 94% of the total energy use in the UK in 2020 came from sources which may contribute to CO2 emissions clearly outlines the need to replace gas heating with electric heating and to replace internal combustion engines using hydro carbons with either electric powered vehicles or green hydrogen for HGVs, public transport and the generation of electricity.

Most electric heating is likely to include the use of heat pump technology even in the case of geothermal and district heat networks. Heat pumps are also being used in electric vehicles as they use less than a third of the energy and extend the vehicle range significantly.

I agree with several of your correspondents that too much of the value of this natural asset is going abroad and out of Scotland, and like the oil it looks likely that Scotland will see little benefit.

It is sad that the only nationalised energy company operating in Scotland is EDF with all of the benefits going to French taxpayers.

Iain McIntyre, Sauchie.

• THE interim chairman of the Climate Change Committee, Professor Piers Forster, has warned Scottish Government ministers that they had to urgently update their legal-binding climate targets. He says Scotland must roll out more EV charging points, reduce car traffic by 20 per cent and increase heat pump installations by a factor of at least 13. Has he lost touch with reality?

Scotland is insignificant with 0.1% of global emissions. He says that Scotland needs to double its onshore wind capacity. The 11,000 wind turbines already in Scotland produce about 33% of the UK's electricity. Where would Professor Forster locate the additional 11,000?

He, his Climate Change Committee and all those on the UK climate gravy train should go to China... by sailing boat.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.

READ MORE: Don't believe the spin about renewables generation

READ MORE: Police Scotland: we need to go back to the drawing board

Swinney pledge most unlikely

I HAVE serious reservations about the suggestion that John Swinney will undertake "a bonfire of vanity projects" in his new role as First Minister. After all, he was part of the cabal which initiated some of the projects in the first place and unless one believes that he was coerced into giving his support, one must assume that he willingly went along with at least some of the grandiose schemes.

Additionally, given the fact that his Cabinet is virtually unchanged from Humza Yousaf's ministers, it seems that "business as usual'"will be the order of the day.

One of the vanity projects aimed at giving Nicola Sturgeon a platform to showcase her Government's "green credentials" is the building of the two super-duper ferries at Ferguson Marine. Late delivery; massive extra construction costs; crews paid millions to do nothing and special "environmental friendly" fuel requiring to be transported for hundreds of miles underline the horror story this has become, not forgetting the devastating effect the absence of the ferries has brought upon the islanders.

Mr Swinney has no magic wand nor a magic money tree to allow him to rectify some of the disastrous mistakes made by the Scottish government. That ship has sailed, which is more than can be said about the two ferries.

Bob MacDougall, Kippen.

• POLLS are now indicating an election disaster for John Swinney with an estimated loss of up to 30 SNP MPS in the forthcoming General Election.

He is predicting that Scotland's separation from the UK could be achieved in five years but with the current shambolic state of the SNP Party it would more likely be 500 years.

Dennis Forbes Grattan, Aberdeen.

It's time to move on

DAVID J Crawford (Letters, May 12) is unhappy with the status quo. He wants independence and most likely a republic too. It is a minority of Scots who see the "ice-cold" grip of England. Most Scots do not particularly want either independence or the removal of royalty. They want a stable government, good schools, good healthcare and a good standard of living.

The lure of independence has had years to offer a practical alternative and has spectacularly failed to do so. The threadbare marches simply confirm the desire has gone. Why not just accept this and finally move on? 2014 was 10 years ago.

Dr Gerald Edwards, Glasgow.

Self-inflicted injury

WE at the Dumfries and Galloway Indy Hub had a very pleasant day in Moffat last Saturday (May 11), with various local and visiting groups providing entertainment and information.

I had a good chat also with a lovely young couple from Germany who now understand how the 2014 independence referendum result was influenced by, amongst other things, the threat that leaving the UK meant also that we'd be out of the EU.

When I explained that there was a further suggestion that any application from an independent Scotland to rejoin the EU might well be met by a veto from rUK as the continuing member, they were flabbergasted: especially as we're now well and truly out of the EU and that all London-based Westminster parties seem determined to keep us out of the Single Market and Customs Union as well.

When I was in the Navy there was a disciplinary offence known as "self-inflicted injury", which could be punished even when the injury wasn't intentional.

And that, indeed, is what it feels like as a country that fell for the "No thanks/Better together" campaign.

Ian Waugh, Dumfries.

The Herald: Rylan Clark and Rob Rinder in VeniceRylan Clark and Rob Rinder in Venice (Image: BBC)

Death of taste in Venice

OVER decades the discerning TV viewer has been indulged with outstanding documentaries about Italian civilisation. One thinks instantly of Kenneth Clark's Civilisation; Bettany Hughes' From Paris To Rome; Mary Beard's Empire without Limit; Joanna Lumley's Great Cities Of The World, Alexander Armstrong's Italy's Invisible Cities; Alice Roberts' The Lost Scrolls Of Pompeii and Pompeii:The New Dig and other gems. These were not all high-brow but the BBC, clearly, saw a gap in the market.

Riddled in wokery, the BBC decided to inflict Rob And Rylan's Grand Tour (BBC2, May 12) on us. The premise was it would be a jolly jape to pair up intellectual, intelligent, articulate, cultured barrister Rob Rinder, with dim, inarticulate, unintelligent, talentless but tick-box Rylan Clark on a trip to Italy. The BBC insists on calling him Rylan but a single name (Eric, Ernie, Cilla, Winston, Bing, Stan, Ollie) is normally reserved for the famous for whom there is great affection.

The joke wears thin very early on. Rylan points out if a TV programme comes on about baroque art he would rather watch a repeat of Keeping Up Appearances. Rob, who believes Rylan "doesn't know his arts from his elbow", takes him to view Il Paradiso, the painting by Tintoretto for the Doge. "That's a big paint job," opines Rylan. Rob highlights 18th century architecture, but Rylan eyes up fit gondoliers. He makes a mockery of the sign of the cross in church. Next Rob explains the Veduta style of painting by Caroletto. Rylan retorts: "He must have done for Venice what TOWIE did for Brentwood". He inspects the Venus De' Medici and says she had filthy nails. A trip to the Murano glass-blowing set up lots of predictable gay innuendo. Rylan had invited notoriety, dressed in drag, in the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest semi-final, which wrecked what was formerly family viewing so, of course, he would dress in drag, with the wig and costume and high heels, to take part in Carnivale. Rylan revels throughout in highlighting the well-documented underbelly of Venetian life in the past.

Two things come to mind. Does the BBC, in 2024, really think we will be shocked with Rylan dressed as Conchita Wurst and, second, is the joke actually on is because Rylan has often said he is Ross [his real name], and his alter ego discards the gleaming white teeth and orange tan at home? It was not just the canals which stank in this ill-conceived programme.

John V Lloyd, Inverkeithing.