LETTER OF THE MONTH

Brian Lawson is the former leader of Renfrewshire Council and recently stood down from the SNP NEC. Despite his excellent surname we are not related. I read with real sadness the small article headed “Energy hikes mean Scots go without” (Sunday National 19th December). The first two paragraphs tell the story – “half a millionContinue reading "LETTER OF THE MONTH"

LETTER OF THE MONTH

Brian Lawson is the former leader of Renfrewshire Council and recently stood down from the SNP NEC. Despite his excellent surname we are not related.

I read with real sadness the small article headed “Energy hikes mean Scots go without” (Sunday National 19th December). The first two paragraphs tell the story – “half a million people in Scotland have cut back on food spending to afford the cost of rising energy bills” and “36% of Scottish adults find their energy bills unaffordable.”

In contrast to this the adjacent article by Douglas Chapman, the SNP’s Small Business, Enterprise and Innovation spokesperson, makes no mention of these scandalous figures choosing instead to concentrate on COP26, the never ending drive to green energy, and the tens of millions of pounds being handed out to make this drive possible.

It is all very well for well paid politicians (of all parties) to point us towards the great green heaven while the cost of heating our homes rises day by day. We cannot all afford or are even able to install heat pumps. A large number of the population still live in tenement flats !

In very simple terms, it costs about the same to get gas from a hole in the ground to my gas meter as it did a year ago. It costs about the same to get electricity from a wind turbine to my electricity meter as it did a year ago. With rising prices somewhere someone or some company is pocketing a vast fortune which is being extracted from the pockets of us all – many of whom can ill afford it. The amounts of money involved are huge.

It seems we can cover the countryside in wind turbines but there seems to be no real long term strategy as to what we do when the wind does not blow and the ageing nuclear stations have had to be shut down. There seems to be no thought of how this increase in wind generated energy will be stored. Will we not need increased pumped storage capacity?

The recent Scottish budget devoted many millions of pounds to planting trees which I suspect will take a long time to start extracting much CO2 from our air. Maybe this money would be best spent on wind turbines, possibly built here in Scotland with the electricity produced from them sold at a fair price to Scottish consumers.

Scotland is producing about 0.1% of global CO2 while the Chinese are building a new coal fired power station almost every week. I know ever little helps but we seem to be doing more than our fair share. In the next few months even more Scottish consumers will be facing massively increased bills for electricity. Given the recent excess supply of both wind and water, this is a bitter and difficult pill to swallow.

Scotland has seen limited benefits from the discovery of North Sea oil in the 1970’s and is set to repeat the mistakes of the past with offshore and onshore wind and wave generation. Many of the wind turbines that cover our hillsides are designed and built far from Scotland and owned by multinational companies. Scottish Power, for example, is a subsidiary of Spanish utility firm Iberdrola. No doubt its many international shareholders will profit from our greatly increased electricity bills.

Between the wind turbines and our electric meters is an intricate web of wires and an equally complex set of transmission charges which appear to favour consumers in the South of England.Perhaps after the Christmas break a committee of the Scottish Parliament could investigate this situation and help to demystify this industry and the web of financial intrigue which surrounds it. Maybe then we could start to understand why electricity from the wind and the waves is so expensive and why the Scottish Government thinks a not for profit Scottish National Energy Company is such a bad idea.

Brian Lawson. 
Paisley. 

BEAT THE CENSORS

Sadly some sites had given up on being pro Indy sites and have decided to become merely pro SNP sites where any criticism of the Party Leader or opposition to the latest policy extremes, results in censorship being applied. This, in the rather over optimistic belief that this will suppress public discussion on such topics. My regular readers have expertly worked out that by regularly sharing articles on this site defeats that censorship and makes it all rather pointless. I really do appreciate such support and free speech in Scotland is remaining unaffected by their juvenile censorship. Indeed it is has become a symptom of weakness and guilt. Quite encouraging really.

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