FOLLOWING on from Mr Ross’s letter advocating fracking (Jan 12) and subsequent responses, I feel that we should look more at tidal and oceanic drift. Moving water is very powerful. Tidal power is also an almost permanent supply as high and low tides happen at different times around the very extensive Scottish coast.

We may also be too concerned by large-scale production and not enough about point of use. As an example, houses are being built beside the new Aviemore hospital with a surprising shortage of solar panels, and the powers in charge at Cairngorm National Park should hang their heads in shame for allowing planning permission. The hospital itself is a massive mistake in terms of energy use. It sits on a large plot of land which could have had slinkies dug in at pre-build time to gather heat. Even this far north the temperature is permanently at or above 7C at six feet down, the sloping roof has no solar panels and possibly the biggest sin of all is that it uses LPG for heating.

If solar and heat pumps were specified for planning permission for new builds their cost would be a relatively small part of the overall cost. Heat pumps should last 20+ years and solar panels 75+ years. So-called “ affordable housing” should not just refer to the initial build cost but also long-term affordability and comfort.

M Ross


MR K Macrae (Letters, Jan 12) misinterprets my letter of January 12. I was not trying to argue that solar panels do not generate electricity on shady or cloudy days. They clearly do but at a much-reduced level. My point is that solar panels do not generate electricity at NIGHT. You surely don’t need to be an “energy professional” to know that! And “night” is what we have lots of during the dark months of mid-winter in Scotland.

My central point stands uncontested. Intermittent wind and solar power cannot reliably supply either baseload or peak demand especially when electricity is most needed during our winter months. English electricity imports ultimately suffer from the same problems we face. Dark, still, frosty nights do not typically observe the contours of Hadrian’s Wall. The integrity of our electrical grid is in severe peril.

Mr Macrae may rage about the costs of decommissioning nuclear reactors. That is not my area of expertise. But one thing is clear: nuclear power (unlike wind and solar) can reliably supply at least baseload power. I would love to see tidal power develop but one has to ask why this power source, if economic, is not attracting private capital, either here or elsewhere? Tidal power is many years away from viability if this ever occurs.

None of this is of much comfort to Mr Charlie Kerr, who is on a fixed pension income. The answer is not “blowing in the wind” but instead lies under Mr. Kerr’s feet in the form of plentiful gas and condensate, but Boris and Nicola have decided that they are willing to risk the comfort and safety of our pensioners and our poor. One thing is absolutely sure: if we do not produce our own gas and condensate we will certainly import them, losing jobs, wealth, taxes, and energy security into the bargain. It is as if we were banning the production of Scottish whisky and gin yet encouraging imports of Russian vodka and Canadian rye. Wouldn’t that be insane?!Mr Macrae should remember that it is cold, not heat, that kills.

William Ross


I TOO took umbrage at William Ross’s letter on fracking, Yes, I agree you need wind to keep the turbines going, but what percentage of time are they stopped spinning because the ancient national grid doesn’t have the storage capacity to handle what they produce? Any attempt by the English government to build new nuclear in Scotland should be met with mass rejection and massed protests if necessary.

Steve Cunningham


THE latest story about Labour MP Barry Gardiner and his association with a Chinese national highlights the endemic corruption within the UK Parliament. Allegedly not only had Mr Gardiner received around £420,000 over five years from this Chinese national but also employed her son, giving him access to the Parliamentary campus. I5 are now suspecting that this Chinese national is an agent from her government aiming to infiltrate UK politics. parently this never crossed the mind of the Labour MP who only saw the cash signs in front of his face and obviously decided that his enormous salary as an MP was not enough for him and wasn’t concerned about the potential security implications. How many more examples of the endemic corruption in the UK Parliament must we see before we realise that we need independence now!

Councillor Kenny MacLaren

address supplied

AS the search for a Scottish anthem goes on, could I suggest we could change our anthem to whatever current events are important. For instance just now we could have (and we all know the tune) “Boris where’s your troosers?”.

Richard Easson