THE energy solutions that Bill Carmichael (The Yorkshire Post, January 7) favours will not help. Fracking for gas and switching investment to nuclear are not likely to have any positive impact on reducing fuel bills.
The process to extract gas is ruinously complex and would be a blot on our landscape. Fracking has already proved to be politically toxic. As up to one-sixth of Yorkshire’s entire protected land is in areas that were set aside for fracking, this is unsurprising.
Also 140 – almost half – of Yorkshire’s SSIs (Sites of Special Scientific Interest) sit within fracking exploration zones.
New nuclear power plants would only deliver long term – in the 2040s. The example of Hinkley Point C power station, the first to be built in over 20 years, offers a stark warning.
This project is nine years later than originally promised and the costs of its energy will be more than twice that of renewable energy. In addition, the nuclear industry has not solved the problem of dealing safely with nuclear waste, so its real costs are always underplayed.
There are better solutions to those offered by Mr Carmichael. We need to focus on the potential for a national insulation programme for buildings, which would help reduce bills and deliver skilled jobs. A strategy for warmer homes has been proposed in detail to government by the Committee on Climate Change but it has been sidelined.
Much of the limitations of intermittent renewable energy generation – solar and wind – can be largely overcome by a combination of reducing demand at peak times (using financial incentives) and investment in storage, so we can stockpile electricity when it’s plentiful.
Let’s concentrate on the demand side of energy. It’s time to accept we have a climate emergency.
From: Coun Andrew Cooper, Green Party, Kirklees Council.
IN championing nuclear power, fracking and coal as the best ways of addressing the problems facing us, Bill Carmichael also advocates a bonfire of “green taxes”.
Faced with rising gas prices, we now are confronted with hare-brained strategies from right-wing think-tanks, repeated by Carmichael, to turn the clock back on energy strategies.
Nuclear is very expensive and is at best a long-term option that brings with it unquantifiable cost of waste disposal. Fracking for gas and mining coal have serious environmental and health implications and would be a blot on the Yorkshire landscape.
In his alternatives for tacking this cost of living crisis, Carmichael fails to address the potential for building insulation. Not only is one in four pounds spent on heating wasted, but housing makes up 14 per cent of our carbon emissions. The health impacts of nearly a million children living in homes with damp are cumulative for the NHS and reduced educational opportunity.
We need a national plan for insulating the UK’s draughty homes, which would create thousands of new skilled jobs.
From: Malcolm Parkin, Kinross.
IF the end of the world was really nigh – as the Greens claim – then surely they would grab at carbon-free nuclear power to save us all?
But they persist with wind and sun and unrealistic schemes peddled by those seeking subsidy with no guarantee of success. Energy has turned into another gravy train, this time for mad inventors.
Westminster must quickly realise that without a permanent source of real power, Britain will be effectively ruled by industrial countries who wisely continue to develop their economies with reliable sources of energy.
From: Paul Morley, Long Preston, Skipton.
WITH the cost of heating our homes skyrocketing, is it not now time to embrace global warming?
Cladding cost and landlords
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