With regard to Mike Wild’s letter in last week’s Guardian, I would just like to raise some points regarding ‘practical’ forms of producing energy in the real world and the need for British industry to work on a level playing field.
Firstly the argument against wind farms and solar farms is the fact that, by Mr Wild’s own words, the Government’s removal of subsidies means they cannot operate profitably, which really means if they need to be subsidised in the first place they were never going to be profitable.
Renewable energy campaigners want all fossil fuel power stations closed although they are the only current source that can supply adequate electricity to the National Grid to meet our needs as has been proven recently when manufacturing companies were actually ‘paid’ to stop production for a time to conserve electricity as many power stations have been closed down, hardly a good situation to bring our balance of payments down. I find it incredible that the interfering EU are putting unfair taxes on our energy consumption for companies resulting in the tragic loss of jobs in the steel industry, Wales, Redcar and Scunthorpe decimating whole communities and forcing us to buy inferior quality steel from China etc. And yet Germany is building either four or six new ‘coal fired’ power stations. Hardly a level playing field don’t you think, and China and India are the worst polluters in the world but nobody attempts to control them.
With regard to air pollution, I drive from Retford to North Leverton and through to Cottam village twice a day five days a week going by the side of the power station. Even when West Burton and Cottam power stations are working full tilt, although they emit smoke and steam, it quickly disperses and leaves a clear sky, so much so that before dropping down into North Leverton it is sometimes so clear that you can actually see Belmont television mast way over towards the Lincolnshire coast. If you really want to see air pollution and constant smog try visiting Los Angeles or Shanghai, I have been to both places and seen it for myself.
Finally with regard to the dangers of fracking, I would suggest it is more about how it is done, with the correct procedures and proper depth of vertical drilling, rather than the system of fracking that is important. A friend of mine is a retired mining engineer, working all over the world and he witnessed fracking over 40 years ago to obtain oil and it is a similar system to gas but some with different techniques and no problems were encountered.
We all want air pollution to be as low as possible but we must balance it out with the practicalities of running industries and everyday living.