Dear Editor, The idea that “the lights will go out” unless we have the Kingsnorth power station or nuclear power is not right:
Nuclear power stations and “clean” coal-fired power stations cannot be built quickly enough to fill the supposed “energy gap”.
Most renewable sources of power are quick to build. And there are more than enough of them to meet UK needs.
The idea that renewables are “too expensive” is not right:
Although carbon capture and storage (CCS) has not yet been demonstrated on any power station, it is likely that “clean” coal will prove to be one of the most expensive sources of electricity.
When all the environmental and hidden costs are factored in, nuclear power is one of the most expensive sources of electricity.
Here is a way of safeguarding against any possibility of a temporary shortfall in electricity supplies:
The Government should introduce a vigorous programme of “zero-carbon eco-renovation” of existing buildings. Germany already has a programme of eco-renovation to bring existing buildings as close as possible to the “passivhaus” standard.
Since most buildings are heated by gas, this would mean large savings in the amount of gas that the UK is using for heating.
If there is any shortfall in electricity supplies, some of the gas that has been saved by eco-renovation may be used for generating electricity.
Naturally, any gas that is used in that way should be burned in combine-heat-and-power units (CHP) to make maximum use of waste heat from electricity generation.
Dr Gerry Wolff PhD CEng,
Menai Bridge, Anglesey.
The Tories are already working hard
Dear Editor, Foolishly, I had thought we had seen the last of the ill-thought out and off the cuff remarks from Gisela Stuart (Birmingham past and future is theme of Tory conference, Birmingham Post, 12th August), sadly I find I was wrong.
Ms Stuart’s views are inaccurate for a number of reasons. The first is that she states “ The question is whether this is about doing some good in the constituency or about getting headlines”. A little research, either by Ms. Stuart herself or even by a member of her office staff would have illustrated to her that over a number of years, the Conservative Party during both party conferences and spring forums, towns and cities across the country like Blackpool, Bournemouth and Bath to name but three. Have benefited from the involvement of the party in local community projects. These projects are revisited and supported at great length, long after the conferences have ended.
Ms. Stuart goes on to state “If the Tories are coming to Quinton then I hope it is to make a contribution to the community”. Again, it would not have taken much research on Ms. Stuarts part, to know that the Conservative Party are already here and working hard. It is no wonder that the national party wants to be build on the success of the community involvement of the local Birmingham Conservative Party.
It is such a shame that Gisela Stuart’s drive for a quote in the local press could not have been used more positively, rather than muddying what is after all positive action for a community project within her own area.
It’s the countryside, not a Disney version of life
Dear Editor, It was interesting to read Paul Dale’s article about the proposed tram route for ‘Middle Quinton’ (Birmingham Post 11.08.08)
From the filing cabinet of straw-clutching ideas from the developers struggling to make a coherent case for overwhelming our local villages with a huge out-of-place new development, comes yet another extraordinary claim. This time the proposal masquerades as the solution to the movements of our new neighbours in and out of their town.
Judging by the comments of people I met on the Greenway this morning exercising dogs, pushing buggies, riding bikes and just plain rambling, I’m not sure the tram thing will be all that popular.
And, are we to assume that ecologically concerned residents only, ever, want to travel north or south? Do they never want to go to Chipping Campden or Ebrington for a pub supper, visit Compton Verney, shop in Leamington, take in a concert at the NEC or Symphony Hall and return in the early hours?
The nature of St Modwen thinking is summed up by their spokesperson saying that there will be ‘direct access to other popular visitor centres’. How I loathe that ‘centre’ word when applied to our English countryside. Lovely villages and open spaces are just what they are - and should never be pigeon-holed as a Disneyland pre-packaged version of a priceless inheritance about to be squandered.