Scotland right to go with the tidal flow

The negativity of certain individuals never fails to amaze me.

I am writing in response to an ill-informed letter by Robin Cross published in last week’s paper.

It seems to suggest that the whole power strategy of the Scottish Government and its renewable energy policy is based on onshore wind turbines – this proves that Mr Cross has not studied the subject in any depth.

I can understand the frustration of many people when they see the gradual creeping presence of onshore wind farms.

Due to international agreements we are required to produce a certain percentage of power from renewable sources and our neighbours south of the border are also saddled with this regrettable problem. In Scotland’s case these monsters only have a predicted lifespan of around 25 years and are a necessary short-term solution.

His ramblings appear to suggest that First Minister Alex Salmond is the only person to design and implement the Scottish Government’s energy policy. These policies are debated by MSPs from all parties and consensual agreement is reached wherever possible.

Mr Cross also appears to favour the nuclear option on energy production, with all its environmental health questions and the inescapable truth that as the availability of uranium becomes ever more finite, the price will continue to rise. That is not even to mention the one big question – what do we do with the waste?

He still describes it as “the only substantial, scaleable power source”.

I’ve got news for him – tidal power.

Is he aware that Scotland has a unique advantage over many of our northern European neighbours by way of a fantastic untapped energy source called the Pentland Firth.

The huge undersea forces of this massive tidal flow are already in the process of being harnessed by scientists and engineers. Prototype sea-bed tidal generators are capturing the power of this swirling tidal rush as the Atlantic empties into the North Sea and then returns four times a day.

Combine this with the offshore wind farms that are much more predictable in performance than the onshore variety and you will begin to see the bigger picture. The benefits of this truly “clean” source of power go without saying, but they are on their way.

The true significance of this fantastic venture will also result in added exploratory work within our universities and, of course, the re-industrialisation of our country and many thousands of new jobs within the light and heavy engineering sectors.

The Scottish Government will work with our partners to make the country a world leader in the field of renewable energy, selling technologies and expertise world wide.

Estimates of the significance of this scheme have suggested that by the year 2020 Scotland should be able to generate 100 per cent of her own power from renewable sources and could eventually provide up to 60 per cent of the European electricity requirements, netting huge revenues for our wee country.

No wonder Westminster politicians would like to have a quick referendum and keep Scots in the dark about our future prosperity. Remember what they did with our oil.

Councillor Jim Brown

(Jedburgh and District)