SOLAR panels cause confusion in UK Government circles. Truss, along with her Environment Secretary Ranil Jayawardena, wants to ban solar panels on certain (normally agricultural) land in England – 58% is the figure being restricted.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, her Business Secretary, and his department, along with Climate Minister Graham Stuart, object to the Truss ban.

Some people ask why we northern hemisphere countries are investing in solar power generation. Aren’t we too cloudy and cold?

The current Photo-Voltaic (PV) panels work in normal daylight, they do not need brilliant sunlight, and they still work well in our latitudes. The PV panels also work better (more efficiently) converting light into electricity when cooler, so placing them in more temperate climates like ours is a technically more efficient deployment.

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The further away from the point of use, the greater the transmission losses, so situating panels closer to the major population centres or industrial users reduces the losses in the transmission.

At a recent conference, several contributors advised that PV panels could and should be deployed on any and all government or public buildings, allowing these buildings to contribute to our common good and using up what is often functional space, normally rooftops. There are some special cases where these spaces may well be decorative and form part of the aesthetic of the building, which could well require a special dispensation decision.

This strategy of deploying onto cityscapes supports the “produce locally” ethos and reduces transportation to a minimum.

Truss wants to ban farmers from deploying PV on 58% of land in England. Rees-Mogg states this is un-Conservative, not allowing free choice of farmers or, more likely, energy-generating companies buying up farmland for the deployment.

Rees-Mogg seems to have turned green and over a “new leaf” to promote increased renewable energy generation. I particularly like his department’s idea to provide grants to homeowners to fit PV to their homes.

Alistair Ballantyne Birkhill, Angus ACCORDING to the European Wind Atlas, Scotland has the highest onshore wind resource in Europe (Riso National Laboratory, Denmark). Scotland already exports more electricity than it imports. It is therefore somewhat surprising that several English Conservative MPs have recently been advocating that Scotland join with England and embark on nuclear power generation to solve the UK’s energy shortage.

Why on earth should Scotland do that when wind generation is cheaper, greener and can be developed more quickly? Yet at PMQs on Wednesday, in response to a question from Ian Blackford unrelated to energy, Liz Truss again suggested Scotland go down the expensive nuclear route. What is the reason for this?

Perhaps Ms Laura Ferris, Conservative MP for Newbury, gave us a clue in an answer on Politics Live on October 12. She refused to entertain the prospect of fracking in her own constituency but she indicated the north of Scotland might be an appropriate place for fracking.

So far as I am aware, no explanation of how much, how toxic or how long-lasting the nuclear waste from the latest UK nuclear proposals will be.

Nor has there been an indication of where nuclear waste will be stored, deposited or processed. I suspect that many Conservative MPs will follow Ms Ferris’s lead and say: “Not in my constituency – how about Scotland?”

This will be easier to force on the Scots if there is even a token nuclear power plant here.

Consequently, in the spirit of pre-emptive retaliation, can I suggest that rural Cheshire would be an admirable place as a nuclear waste repository – in particular, in the mines where salt was extracted?

Germany has used its old salt mines for storage of tens of thousands of barrels of radioactive material at Asse in Lower Saxony. The salt remaining helps “contain” any leakage.

I’m sure Cheshire’s MPs will greet this prospect with enthusiasm, knowing that they are playing their part in fulfilling the Conservative Party’s energy policy.

Kerr Walker


I COMPLAINED to the BBC about the amount of time given to that clown, who is leader of the Scottish Conservative Party, on Question Time. His refusal to acknowledge Nicola Sturgeon’s “detest” remark was directed at Tory policy and not at individuals was absolutely infuriating. His endless whinging week in, week out has prompted me to write this.

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I detest Douglas Ross.

I detest Liz Truss.

I detest Boris Johnson.

I detest the manner in which our SNP politicians are spoken to in Westminster.

I detest Tory policy which intends to scrap EU laws protecting nature and the environment.

Bring on independence.

Jane Bullock