IoS letters, emails & online postings (30 March 2014)

 

Share

The Crimean referendum may have been ‘illegal’ in terms of international law  but the result  was obviously quite genuine

Gavin Turner

Gunton, Norfolk

Heat pumps are not quite as “game changing” as Ed Davey is reported to believe (“Renewable energy from rivers and lakes could replace gas in homes”, 23 March). Typically 1 kilowatt (kW) of electricity is required to produce 3 to 4kW of useable heat from a heat pump. However, electricity can cost three or four times the price of gas per kilowatt-hour (kWh), so the running costs are not necessarily “relatively low”. This is broadly the case whether the electricity to run the heat pump is generated from renewable sources or fossil fuels, as in the case of electricity generated from renewables, there is a lost opportunity cost. 

In addition, if the electricity to run the heat pump is generated in a fossil-fuel (eg gas-fired) power station, which may only produce 1kWh of electricity for every 2 to 2.5kWh of natural gas consumed, the overall energy gain is not as large as one might at first suppose. 

Heat pumps certainly have their place in a coherent UK energy strategy, but they are not as revolutionary as you suggest in your article.

Dr John Coppendale

Stapleford, Cambridge

...

The installation of a district heating scheme supplied by heat pumps is very welcome. However, it should be noted that district heating, along with heat pumps, has rarely been found economic in the UK. In countries where district heating is widely used there is a cultural and regulatory environment that supports and encourages their use, and we don’t have this yet. We are seeing one small step, and should not confuse this with a giant leap.

David Wallis

Cirencester, Gloucestershire

...

Well  knock me down! The Energy Secretary has just discovered heat pumps. It only takes a crisis in the Ukraine for HMG to re-invent the wheel. I am 80 and clearly remember that in the 1950s the Festival Hall was heated by the Thames and a heat-pump system. That was a time when Croydon Council ran all its vehicles on methane gas recycled by its sewage works.

C Moorey

via email

...

Tony Brenton is a lone voice of reason (“Crimea is lost, but there is a deal waiting to be done” 23 March). The Crimean referendum may have been “illegal” in terms of international law, but the result was obviously quite genuine. If we cannot see that Russia has gone through a much more sudden and traumatic loss of empire than we did, we are very blind to 20th-century history.

By all means plan gradually to make western Europe free of its dependence on Russian oil and gas, which will ultimately make the Russian economy even more of a basket case and help to bring them to compromise with us; but, meanwhile, we should stop posturing and threatening, and try to get round the table with Putin anyway. The alternative of escalating conflict is far too serious for any of us to contemplate.

Gavin Turner

Gunton, Norfolk

...

The shadow Work and Pensions Secretary is right to say that “the problem with the Budget was that there was nothing for people who can’t afford to save” (23 March). Which doesn’t surprise me as the Chancellor was trying to play to the gallery of core Tory voters whom the party are afraid might turn to Ukip at the next general election.

Tim Mickleburgh

Grimsby, Lincolnshire

...

D J Taylor almost but not quite nails the impact of Old Etonians in British society when he notes that, politics aside, David Cameron seems a more assured performer than Ed Miliband (23 March). The products of Eton are to be found on the left as well as the right, and some are very astute. That however is not what Eton has taught them. That is rather a sense of self-belief and self-confidence that was not imparted, for example, at my north London comprehensive school. So we find with the current Prime Minister that he is a mostly plausible public performer, but anyone looking to him for deep thinking about the problems facing our society is likely to be disappointed.

Keith Flett

London N17

Have your say

Letters to the Editor, The Independent on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF. Email: sundayletters@independent.co.uk. Online: independent.co.uk/dayinapage/2014/March/30

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Energy Markets Analyst

£400000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy Markets An...

Junior Web Analyst – West Sussex – Up to £35k DOE

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

Nursery Manager

£22000 - £23000 per annum: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recrui...

Web Analyst – Permanent – Up to £40k - London

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Letter from the Personal Finance Editor: Cutting out the middle man could spell disaster for employees and consumers alike

Simon Read
Bono and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced U2's surprise new album at the iPhone 6 launch  

Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes tell you what to think. Don't let them

Memphis Barker
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week