In his article headlined “Trump must not be allowed to blow wind power policy off course” (Insight, 26 February), Duncan Hamilton is obviously on tenterhooks in case Donald Trump’s antagonism stops off-shore wind policy. I consider we should have none at all.
Hamilton’s argument seems to be that because Scottish offshore wind is substantial we have to use it to generate electricity. Any Caribbean hurricane contains sufficient energy to power the whole world ten to a hundred times over. No doubt there would be ways of harnessing it, if pushed, but no-one will bother because of the cost.
Wind power in Scotland has become mired with the hubris about independence. A balanced decision about what is best for the country would have placed cost first and foremost, something Hamilton omits to consider.
Cheap electricity is not only essential for a healthy home life but the cost of electricity is vital to the well-being of any economy, particularly to industries that are heavy users. As the cost of electricity goes up, so does the price of their products and they either go bust or move to countries in which politicians are not obsessed with ideological attitudes to energy policy.
In all this egotism, the public, who will have to pay the bills, simply become collateral damage. There is a perfectly good way to get cheap electricity – it’s called nuclear power, it has served us well in the past, it does so now and the price is probably one fourth that of offshore wind. Nuclear power was dismissed in Scotland by politicians who are not qualified to make decisions about generating policy. I believe it is time to remove certain areas of policy out of political hands for the present and into those who can be relied on to use it more responsibly.
Professor Anthony Trewavas FRS, Penicuik, Midlothian
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