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Readers’ letters: Windfarm subsidies, Rishi Sunak and Union Terrace Gardens

Rasa hydrogen vehicle made by Riversimple.
Rasa hydrogen vehicle made by Riversimple.

Sir, – The announcement for a potential Riversimple factory in Aberdeen as part of the alleged transition away from fossil fuels should perhaps do with some more research.

Aside from Riversimple’s tenacity it should be mentioned that hydrogen infrastructure totals 14 refuelling stations UK-wide and Hyundai’s iX35 which has appeared on the BBC’s “Click” has a station that took two weeks to refill after it had refuelled only four cars.

Worldwide sales of hydrogen cars in 2021 totalled 15,538 which doesn’t inspire much at all. Furthermore, Honda spent billions on its FCX programme culminating in the FCX Clarity and then ditched it in favour of an EV future.

Mercedes-Benz have occasionally dabbled in concepts over the last 30 years but nothing tangible has ever happened.

And there are significant reasons for that when you investigate further.

With deprived areas like Torry on the sharp end of the “Energy Transition Zone” and its effects, we should be mindful of the cooling effect of green space and the positivity gained.

Removal of green space as part of a half baked “plan” to be seen as green is as misguided as the failure of the expensive, unreliable hydrogen buses. It seems as if the city’s cutting edge is still everyone else’s behind.

Ian Beattie. Baker Street, Aberdeen.

Sunak as PM could be good news

Sir, – If Rishi Sunak lands the prime minister’s job on September 6 he will ensure that no more onshore wind farms will be built and that the Department of Energy, which is combined with the Business Department, will become a department in its own right.

This is very much welcome news because we have reached saturation of onshore wind farms in the north of Scotland.

Michael Baird. Dornoch Road, Bonar Bridge.

School days have certainly changed

Sir, – I found Gail Sayles’ article on July 7 most interesting.

How things change! I started school when I was five years old, halfway through the Second World War.

My mother walked me the half mile walk for the first couple of days, after which I found my own way to and from school for the next few years.

When my auntie was on leave from the Navy she would come and stay with us.

My aunt and mother would sometimes go to dances in the evening and leave me at home. If I needed anything I contacted my next-door neighbour by banging on the pantry wall.

There was no telephone to phone Childline.

Keith Harman. Sand Laides, Achnasheen.

Funny place for a power station

Sir, – A UK Government webpage on the topic of climate change says “sea levels will keep rising as the polar ice sheets and glaciers melt and the warming oceans expand.

“Even small increases of tens of centimetres could put thousands of lives and settlements at risk from coastal flooding.”

The government obviously doesn’t believe this as they’ve just announced the go-ahead of Sizewell C nuclear power station and, judging by the TV footage, the construction site is only a few feet above sea level and right next to the sea.

Geoff Moore. Braeface Park, Alness.

Wind farms are still subsidised

Sir, – Mr Jeff Rogers is wrong to claim subsidies for wind turbines have ended. He overlooks the Renewables Obligation, costing each household £250 per annum, totalling £6.2 billion of subsidies. Foreign steel products, each with its own carbon footprint, still represent extra CO2 release derived from wind turbine manufacture abroad.

Landfill burial in Germany cannot be practical for scrapped UK blades.

Alternatives to battery storage are still undeveloped.

Jeff Rogers’ letter’s accompanying photograph illustrates his “What’s not to like” – appalling ruination of vast areas of land, despoiled by these unreliable “renewables”.

They are an ongoing disaster for us taxpayers and our nations.

Charles Wardrop. Viewlands Road West, Perth.

Wind turbines are fire hazard

Sir, – Recent coverage on television and the media has once again graphically depicted the horrors of raging wildfires.

Politicians, planners and local councillors seem to be blissfully unaware that wind turbines pose a significant, deadly and growing threat to rural communities, livestock, wildlife and habitats.

Our once beautiful countryside is now littered with the perfect incendiary device.

Hundreds have been built in forests, on fragile, peat-covered moorland, in reality a tinder-dry touch paper at the moment.

Poor maintenance, oil leaks, extremely high gear ratios, mean wind turbines pose an increasing risk of spontaneous combustion and collapse.

This is happening alarmingly often, particularly in Germany where they are known as “Tickende Zeitbomben” – the spine-chilling translation – “Ticking Time Bombs”.

If one or more of these giant turbines bursts into flames, scattering debris and sparks, they can start a rapidly-spreading, raging inferno because they are impossible to extinguish at such a height.

I have repeatedly raised rural residents’ concerns, without response from grossly negligent Scottish and UK governments.

It must be asked: What country-wide, specialist equipment is available, at a moment’s notice, to extinguish fires at such a height?

Will the ever-so-green wind industry pay for this potential disaster, risk to life and the catastrophic clean-up costs?

George Herraghty. Lhanbryde, Elgin.

Sunday sailings call puzzling

Sir, – With millions of tons of shipping moving round the oceans of the world it somewhat stretches credibility to suggest that the Almighty would seek out CalMac to make them the object of his wrath for tootling back and fore between Ullapool and Stornoway on a Sunday.

Over the years I’ve encountered many denominations and many clergy, having grave doubts about the sanity of both. This latest daftie from the Free Church of Scotland concerning Sunday sailings and the breaking of the Sabbath only heightens that view.

CalMac sensibly declined to comment – they’ve tangled before with religious loonies on Lewis.

I don’t for one minute believe God is as the clergy make him out to be, indeed in spouting this nonsense I think they do him an immense disservice.

Keith Fernie. Drakies Avenue, Inverness.

Gene technology was a lifesaver

Sir, – Professor Hugh Pennington’s response to G Davidson’s appeal for education regarding the current use of gene technology in the production of new strains of organisms is lucid and informative.

He points out that the recently developed vaccines, effective against the various strains of the Covid virus, were first produced using such techniques.

To date they have saved millions of lives throughout the world.

If our first minister, her SNP and Green ministers had been aware, when the new vaccines effective against the Covid virus first became available in 2021, had been developed using gene editing – would they have banned their use in Scotland?

Alison Innes (Dr). Lang Stracht, Alford.

Hot air didn’t last long at all…

Sir, – A random set of meteorological circumstances has allowed us to experience the temperatures of Africa for a couple of days.

My house became very warm, but now an easterly breeze has blown all that hot air away, and it is rather chilly in here.

Oh… goodness… I do hope this is not an early start for the Beast from The East.

Malcolm Parkin. Kinnesswood, Kinross.

UTG: What’s the hold-up?

Sir, – Regardless of whether the public are in favour of the changes or not, I have come across an interesting fact that perhaps our council leaders might care to note.

UTG has been under development for approximately 1044 days.

The Empire State Building was, in 1931, completed after 410 days of construction. So, what’s the problem?

J McK, Cove.

Unreliable bus service in city

Sir, – It is becoming quite apparent that First Bus are not providing a basic service.

Three times the No 15 service has not appeared at the designated time this week. Friends tell me the Ferryhill service is suffering the same fate.

Clearly First Bus are failing to provide adequate service cover.

I’m sure many others have experienced the same inadequate service.

It is simply not good enough to continue with this operator and one hopes the council takes note.

James Sinclair, Castle Street, Aberdeen