Costly renewables

I read your article ‘Face of Change’ with great interest. Our overall aim must be to reduce CO2 emissions on a long-term basis.


I read your article ‘Face of Change’ (Interview, 12 February) with great interest.


Our overall aim must be to reduce CO2 emissions on a long-term basis. The perception of wind, biofuels and nuclear is that they produce cheap energy, free from fossil fuel CO2 emissions. But the vast amount of human and economic activity needed to create, erect, operate, maintain and dismantle these forms of energy, mean the collateral emissions are greater than those saved over the plant’s lifetime. The proof of this is the cost in p/kWh to sell such power, or, alternatively, the cost of subsidies. As Scottish ministers admit, the main point of the Lewis wind farm is to provide jobs.


Biofuels are especially risky as they not only replace vital animal and human food crops, but also require more energy to produce a litre of fuel than the fuel gives out.


The environment minister is obviously well advised, and the UK will block EU targets for renewables. There are many other ways to cut CO2 emissions by the target dates but, overall, nuclear, wind farms and biofuels will increase them.



P Field


St Albans, Herts