Letter: British Coal's stranglehold on pits

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The Independent Online
Sir: May we hope that the proposed energy review is comprehensive ('Heseltine widens the scope of review', 22 October)? Reviewers should listen not only to shrill voices with expensive vested interests in coal, oil, gas and nuclear energy, but also explore alternative water, wind and solar power sources. With infinitely more modest resources at their disposal, our ancestors developed sensible appropriate technologies. The Domesday Book records a watermill for every 50 households; also in the 11th century there were tidal mills in several parts of Europe.

A fraction of the stupendous sums of money mentioned as development and operating costs, and subsidies, might produce good returns if used to reinvigorate very old technologies. Could the energy review panel be asked to take a walk along a beach, on a sunny, windy day, and watch the tide come in?

Yours faithfully,

ALUN C. DAVIES

Economic History Department

Queen's University

Belfast

22 October

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