Scottish Renewables director Niall Stuart bemoans the John Muir Trust for its “refusal to accept the challenge of climate change” and “total failure to offer any kind of credible alternative to the development of wind power” (Letters, 24 February). This rather harsh criticism quietly ignores the reason why onshore wind is set to expand and the net effect it will have on Scotland’s carbon emissions.
The Scottish Government’s Electricity Generation Policy Statement details plans for the 5TW-hr of energy produced by onshore wind in 2008 to grow to almost 20TW-hr by 2030. At the same time the 14.3TW-hr of nuclear energy produced in 2008 will vanish by 2030.
The sole result of this energy transition is that we will have substituted approximately 15TW-hr per year of compact, base-load nuclear energy for the same quantity of diffuse, intermittent renewable energy. It will have absolutely no impact on climate policy since the life-cycle carbon emissions of nuclear and wind are both minimal.
If we do indeed generate 20TW-hr per year of onshore wind energy by 2030, the cost will be up to £740 million per year in support, based on renewable obligation costs of £37 per MW-hr. In addition, at a power density of 2 Watts per square metre for onshore wind, the required installed capacity of 7,500MW will require 1,450 square miles of land, twice the area of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. The John Muir Trust is entirely right to be concerned.
Colin R McInnes
Williamwood Park West
Niall Stuart of Scottish Renewables has sought to rubbish the concerns of the John Muir Trust, Scottish Natural Heritage and other well-respected conservation bodies (Letters, 24 February).
Scottish Renewables is the mouthpiece for the wind industry. Niall Stuart’s salary is paid via the hidden charges in our energy bills.
If he believes wind turbines are the solution to all our woes can he explain why Germany, with 21,164 turbines, and Denmark, with more than 6,200, have admitted that they are a failed and expensive experiment?
Their CO2 emissions have gone up and they have not closed one power plant.
Holland has now abandoned the EU target of producing 20 per cent of its energy requirement from renewables and will build nuclear power plants instead.
China and India, with their huge reserves of coal, are building coal-fired power stations which will increase world CO2 levels dramatically.
Does Niall Stuart really think that the UK with 2 per cent and Scotland with only 0.2 per cent of global emissions can “save the planet”?