Wind farms are far too unreliable to provide Scotland's energy

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Turbines on a wind farm
Turbines on a wind farm

I am not excited by the pronouncement that Scotland set a new record for wind electricity generation in the first six months of 2017.

This is hardly a ringing endorsement considering the billions of pounds of capital invested in wind generation, plus the massive consumer paid subsidies per unit of electricity generated – not to mention the consequent desecration of many of our landscapes. It also begs the question of where the electricity required for the other 175 or so days came from?

GM Lindsay
​Kinross

Yet again WWF and our energy minister are getting excited about wind power output. The giveaway of course is in this paragraph from your article:

“In the first six months of 2017, enough power was generated to supply more than all of Scotland’s national demand for six days.”

Since their simple minds seem unable to grasp the implications of this, perhaps they should try this parable, written some time ago by veteran Highland anti-windfarm campaigner Stuart Young to illustrate the problem:

You engage a milkman to deliver two pints a day. He delivers two on Sunday, none on Monday, one on Tuesday, three on Wednesday, one on Thursday, three on Friday and four on Saturday.

Job done, you have had your weekly ration of 14 pints. An average of two pints a day.

You would sack your milkman after week one. You wouldn't pay him extra for being unreliable, and you wouldn't pay for the surplus milk on the days there is too much and you wouldn't pay him more to take the surplus away when you can't use it either. But that is exactly what we do when we rely on wind generated electricity.

Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?

Brenda Herrick
​Castletown

It's not just chlorine in food we should be worried about

I note all the concerns raised about the proposed trade deals with the US, including importing their meat products. I would like to add another concern to the pile that seems to be growing daily.

Some years ago I was diagnosed with a rare progressive and systemic disease of the lungs called Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAMS). As yet there is no cure for LAMS, but some of the advice to try and delay its progress is to limit one's personal exposure to hormones, either through medicines or nutrition.

Like many people, I have reduced my meat and dairy consumption. I check provenance and as Riverford is near to me, I try and rely on outlets like that, where I can be sure hormones haven't been introduced to force any form of animal growth or output.

I have noted with growing concern the airy way the US meat industry dismisses concerns about the hormones it uses for the mass production of meat. If we concede entry to these products, will the Government ensure full transparency and traceability when it reaches a retail outlet. Somehow I suspect not. Which means I will be scrutinising the products on our supermarket shelves ever more vigilantly.

Kerry Larbalestier
Devon

No big deal

We have chlorinated tap water so why not chlorine-washed chicken?

Hallam Murray
Battersea

International letters

One of my delights in reading The Independent online since the changeover from the print version has been the increasing number of letters from your global readers. A bouquet to those who took the “go digital” decision.

Jean Clark
Verona, Italy

Technological downfalls

Similar to the reversibility of light (ie if you can see my eyes, I can see yours), any portal into an electronic network that allows entry (even with a firewall) can be accessed both ways and ultimately hacked. Anything that is written in electronic form should be considered available to the public. I never write down my passwords and agree with the writer that this may be the best way to maintain secure information even if I may forget the password. Sometimes the “low tech” option is best. In a similar sense, consider that Serbian forces were able to shoot down a “high-tech” NATO F-117 “stealth” fighter jet during NATO's war on the Serbian people in 1999 largely because they had not updated their air defenses. Over reliance on technology has its downfalls.

Michael Pravica
Nevada, USA

MPs aren't the only ones with 'no confidence'

Fifteen Tory MPs are to sign a letter of no confidence in Theresa May. Ministers are actively briefing against each other and the PM on a regular basis on matters of the utmost national importance.

Jeremy Corbyn persists in trying to offer a utopian 1970s version of the world, whilst many of his MPs disagree with his policies but lack the gumption to mount an effective challenge.

And Tony Blair has resurrected himself to add commentary from the side lines.

Am I alone in wondering what the hell they are all doing?

We face the biggest change of our lives and the body politic goes absent without leave whilst pursuing their own agendas. This dereliction of their duty to the nation at such a time shows the desperately selfish and self-aggrandizing nature of our leaders.

Whatever happened to our national interest? It no longer matters whether we are in or out of Europe. It no longer matters whether Scotland and England stick together. What matters is that we are in a fix and need our leaders to do what we elected them for – lead.

Sounds obvious, but I see none of it at all.

John Sinclair
Pocklington

Jacob Rees-Mogg for Tory leader

I wholeheartedly support the groundswell of momentum that Jacob Rees-Mogg should be elected leader of the Conservative Party.

Rees-Mogg talks sense and people listen. I happened to watch the recent BBC Question Time where Rees-Mogg delivered a series of practical solutions to political questions of the day to a captivated audience.

How refreshing to have Rees-Mogg, a highly successful businessman of the real world, clearly articulating and explaining the harsh economic realities facing the UK.

If Emmanuel Macron can arrive literally from nowhere to win the French Presidency then authoritative, polite, eloquent, witty, well-informed, coherent, principled Jacob Rees-Mogg should be hailed the new political “messiah” of the Tory party.

Henry Carlton
London N14

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