Go with renewables

The idea that the lights will go out unless we have Kent’s Kingsnorth power station or nuclear power is not right.

Nuclear power stations and ‘clean’ coal-fired power stations just cannot be built quickly enough to fill the supposed energy gap. Most renewable sources of power are quick to build. And there are more than enough of them to meet UK needs.

The idea that renewables are too expensive is not right. It is a way of safeguarding against any possibility of a temporary shortfall in electricity supplies.

The government should introduce a vigorous programme of zero-carbon eco-renovation of existing buildings. Germany already has a programme of eco-renovation to bring existing buildings as close as  possible to the ‘passivhaus’ standard.

Since most buildings are heated by gas, this would mean large savings in the amount the UK is using for heating. If there is any shortfall in electricity supplies, some of that gas saved by eco-renovation may be used for generating electricity.

Naturally, any gas used in that way should be burned in combine-heat-and-power units to make maximum use of waste heat from  electricity generation.

The Stern report has made it clear we must start spending money now to avoid much larger costs later. Renewables with energy conservation are the way forward.

Dr Gerry Wolff

Menai Bridge, Anglesey