Practical problems of energy policy

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From: David F Chambers, Sladeburn Drive, Northallerton.

THE Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Ed Davey, is working on our behalf to reduce our carbon dioxide output by 80 per cent by 2050. Whether this is appropriate or necessary is for discussion elsewhere, but it would seem that to succeed we must build an additional 85,000 wind turbines (2,500 per year until 2036), develop fracking and carbon capture and storage, replace petrol and diesel-powered transport with electrical (what about aircraft?) and build an unknown number of major nuclear power stations.

This means doubling the demand for electrical power (to be sourced from renewables), the end of gas-fired central heating and cooking and laying out some £1.1 trillion. Although figures are not to hand, fuel costs must rise very steeply and the manufacturing base of the country will probably have to move overseas.

Nevertheless, this is our energy policy, even if it is not well publicised. If it were, it would at once be rejected as impossible, unaffordable, totally unacceptable and in fact ludicrous. Global warming has had a fair innings; now it should find its place in our scale of priorities.

From: Rachel Maister, Ripon.

BILL Carmichael (The Yorkshire Post, October 17) states that “a combination of gas, coal and new nuclear plants should form the basis of new energy supplies for the foreseeable future”.

The policy of building new nuclear plants is advised because only the rich can afford to be “green” because of the cost of adapting houses by installing double glazing and solar panels.

Surely the solution required for all the population to be able to heat their homes adequately is not by installing more dangerous nuclear plants, but by making it compulsory for houses to be efficiently insulated?

In the present very unstable times, where acts of terrorism become more likely, it is surely very dangerous to increase our nuclear power stations?

From: Tony Quinlan, Drax.

BARRIE Frost (The Yorkshire Post, October 16) is wrong to imply that biomass is not sustainable and increases carbon emissions compared to fossil fuels.

Drax has developed and implemented industry-leading sustainability criteria. All of Drax’s biomass goes through a rigorous independent carbon accounting process which has shown that the average emissions saving over the full life cycle of generating power from sustainable biomass in place of coal is above 80 per cent including processing and transport.

Like Mr Frost, we do support efforts to develop carbon capture and storage for coal as evidenced by our involvement in the White Rose (CCS) project. However, sustainable biomass has a crucial role in the electricity generation mix. It delivers cost-effective, low carbon and reliable electricity, and the transition to a low carbon economy would be a longer, more expensive process without it.

The ideal candidate

From: John Waterhouse, Director and Auctioneer, Hunters, Colliergate, York.

I READ Tom Richmond’s article (The Yorkshire Post, October 18) regarding the selection of Kevin Hollinrake as the Conservative candidate for Thirsk and Malton.

Kevin has been my business partner for over 22 years and I am in a position to say he is no ordinary estate agent. In fact his role in our company has, in the main, been strategic.His communication and networking skills have assisted immeasurably. He has been instrumental in guiding our business from one to 120 offices nationwide. His presence will be sadly missed by our team of directors.

However our loss is the gain of the constituency. Kevin has lived and worked within the constituency the whole of his life Knowing him as I do, he will be no ordinary backbencher, he is not afraid to speak his mind. However controversial, he is fair minded, highly intelligent, a good listener and a good businessman. He has always been interested and involved with local issues, and is not afraid to express his opinion.

From Keith Sibbald, St Mary’s Walk, Mirfield, West Yorkshire.

YES, Kevin Hollinrake is very much a mild-mannered person, but what wrong is there in that? Rushing in like a bull in a china shop is not always the best way.

I was chairman of the Dewsbury Constituency when Kevin was adopted as its candidate. He went about things in a determined way to win over support for his proposed actions. We were no pushover, I can tell you. Kevin can be as hard as nails if that is what is needed. There is no way that he will limply follow the party whips if it will have a bad effect on his constituents.

From: Jeremy Ward, Shoptility.com, Charlotte Street, London.

THE people of Thirsk and Malton are lucky to have Kevin Hollinrake, He is relishing the challenges ahead, very passionate about his constituents and about the difference he can make. Like many, he has faced adversity and with sheer determination worked through the tough times. His “local estate agency” is now a UK leading brand employing over 600 people, I have personally been involved with Kevin in three successful software business ventures, none of this could be achieved with a “sit back and watch” attitude.