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Last Updated: Monday, 6 March 2006, 21:10 GMT
Your views on energy in Scotland
Electricity meter
A poll commissioned by BBC Scotland has suggested a majority of adults favour renewable energy sources in meeting future needs.

The ICM survey found support for nuclear power rose if it could be a means of reducing reliance on energy imports.

However, the study indicated strong opposition to the dumping of nuclear waste in Scotland.

With energy prices rising what do you see as the best way of meeting Scotland's future energy needs? What role should oil, gas and coal play, for example? You sent us your views.

The government should insulate all council homes in the UK and give substantial grants to home owners insulate and re-roof/insulate older properties if they are serious about global warming, it is about time they listened to people who employ them
Tommy Keegans, Saltcoats

I would like to see more attempts to generate electricity in the areas where it is needed ¿ current plans for wind farms in places like Lewis will require huge amounts of grid reinforcement in order to get the power to the cities. Something like a tidal barrage on the Forth or windmills in the Pentlands would be more appropriate. This would also mean that the generators would be in an area that is already developed and so cause less damage to our valuable countryside.
Tom Barraclough, Edinburgh

I actually work in the field of developing new energy technologies albeit that I am "lost" from Scotland at the minute! There will be no single energy answer. We don't want one answer anyway - eggs in baskets. The biggest single difference I can see that would change things hugely would be replacing all of our diesel with vegetable oil - forget the fancy bio-diesel, just use ordinary veggie oil. Most diesel engines will run on it with almost no modification at all. Herr Diesel's very first compression engine ran on neat peanut oil! Stop growing any unprofitable food we don't need or can buy cheaper, let's grow fuel instead. It has zero net environmental impact. The govt should place zero fuel tax on veggie fuel. Everyone wins, the farmers, people in their cars, the boost to industry of cheaper transport will!
Dr. M. Smith, Jülich Germany

I believe there is a case for renewable energy on a local basis. Small scale hydro schemes and wind farms that are not too obtrusive could be used to provide power for some of our smaller and more remote communities. Schemes like these would not require massive pylons and cables to distant towns and cities. They would only cause minimal disruption. While not solving the national power problem; they could allow much of Scotland to become self sufficient in renewable energy and not allow the country to become an energy source for the rest of the country.
RM, Lochaber

Renewables is a farce, on the coldest days of the winter high pressure bands sit over most of the UK. On these days output from wind turbines equals nil. Nuclear and clean coal with a token element from "free renewable energy" are the answer for a balanced energy portfolio
Ian K, Glasgow

Can you imagine windmills all over our countryside. The only thing going for us is our scenery - blot that and forget it forever. Who is punting renewable energy? Get-rich merchants that is who. Does anyone understand just how many windmills it takes to get even a small amount of energy - and then what about when there is no wind. There will be no windmills on Arthur's Seat that is for sure!
Fred, Aberdeen

Why doesn't the government fund the placing of solar panels on all houses (not just new builds) etc. as well as fund insulation etc.? This would go someway towards reducing our dependence on other energy sources. Obviously it won't meet all household needs but it would reduce them. When it comes to other energy sources - it is quite obvious that putting up more and more wind turbines is not the answer. We need to look towards other ways of providing energy - and, sad though it is, I do see the case for retaining some nuclear capacity.
Judi, Argyll

I grew up in Glasgow. In winter we had maybe six hours of watery "sunlight". Trust me, solar panels are not going to heat your home through the winter.
Peter, Nottingham

If you accept that oil, gas and coal supplies will dwindle over the next few decades, wind and wave power alone will not be sufficient, whilst any expansion of nuclear could bring disaster. The most effective carbon-neutral solution is the urgent development of bio fuels which our existing transport and generating technologies could utilise with minimal conversion costs. This will need an unprecedented tax rethink to kick start, something Westminster has, so far, dragged its heels on. We could be so far further forward if common sense rather than fiscal 'prudence' had prevailed so far.
Peter Niven, Elgin

Scotland has the potential to lead the world in renewable energy. Ultimately, we could have 100% of our energy as renewables, from wind, waves and tides. The industry and employment this would create would replace all and more that may be lost in time as the oil business declines.
Craig Lindsay, Aberdeen

Scotland should seize this opportunity to lead the way in the use of renewable energy. Scotland's environment is ideal for large scale renewable energy schemes.
Dave W, Glasgow

We should be moving much more towards renewable energy resources. Grants should be given from industries for people to install solar panels in their homes and anyone over the age of 70 should have NO fuel bills to pay whatsoever.
Gail Harkin, Wishaw

I feel that the use of fossil fuel power stations should be wound down, as they are not sustainable in the long term. To counter this more renewable power sources such as hydro, wind, wave and solar should be introduced to supply energy. At the same time I feel the government should take a more active role, and make the country more energy efficient - make it more attractive for households to improve their insulation or to install roof-based solar panels for example, and legislate to ensure devices within the home are more energy efficient, beyond the current advertising campaigns that appear to only be slightly successful. I also think that until these measures come into force, then a new nuclear plant would probably solve the immediate energy problem, however I would want strong guarantees that the issue of waste would be investigated and dealt with.
Duncan McLaren, Stirling

I believe we should be looking at micro-generation. The technology exists for people to have small electricity producing windmills on the roof of their house or flat. At a conservative estimate, a small windmill can provide a home with around 15% of its energy needs. The windmills would be no more unsightly than a satellite dish and, in any case, the "unsightliness" is a small price to pay to keep the generation of greenhouse gases to a minimum.
John, Edinburgh

It would seem that presently our thirst for energy is ever increasing, more and more people flying internally and externally, many more cars and ever more electronic gadgets in the home. It would seem that if we are ever going to meet our future energy needs we need to cut use. Air travel within the UK is far too cheap and the pollution caused is not taken into account. While extreme, I would say if we are serious this internal air travel must be ceased, whether through high taxes or a complete ban on air travel. At the same time we must make positive steps to reintroduce trains and trams to Britain. Renewable energy needs to be considered to meet the diminishing non-renewable energy, and needs to be thought of above the level of targets.
Angus, Edinburgh/Kirkcudbrightshire

Energy investment should be to assist the cutting down of consumption of energy and generate energy at the point of usage via sustainable means, e.g. wind generators on houses, photovoltaic cells, solar panels, extra insulation, triple glazing, draught proof buildings, heat exchangers, heat pumps. Not large, remote electricity generating systems which lose power over the transmission distances.
David McFarlane, Edinburgh

There will be a massive energy gap when our existing nuclear stations reach the end of their working lives. If we plug the gap with oil, gas or coal we will simply increase greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate global warming. With the best will in the world, renewables and energy conservation will not be sufficient to make ends meet. We are likely to have to consider new nuclear stations to take the bulk energy production load. We should therefore redouble our scientific research into methods of safe storage of nuclear waste or investigate novel methods of physical transmutation of our existing waste into shorter-lived radioactive products.
Douglas MacGregor, Glasgow

What is the total electrical consumption of the Scottish nation (5m people)? What is the total installed electrical generating power in Scotland? What is the total hydroelectric power in Scotland? (does it meet Q1? ) Therefore is the excess electrical generating power purely a commercial reason, and if Q1 is satisfied with hydroelectric power there is no local need to have nuclear or any excess power stations in Scotland.
James Gorman , Guildford, England

I know some people have an aversion to renewable power sources like wind farms, but I personally think that they are beautiful, I would have no problem with them being used all over the country. I also feel that as an island we have the huge untapped resource of the waves surrounding us and that we should look to these two options before we use nuclear power.
Kristi Nelson, Glasgow

The results of the BBC poll indicate the lack of public understanding of renewable energy. A cursory glance at the annual wind energy reports from EON, the organisation with the greatest experience of managing large scale wind infrastructure, indicates that wind energy is incapable of contributing significantly to our energy needs. The UK requires roughly 400TWH of electricity per annum. This will come from either coal, gas, or nuclear, and will not be influenced in any way by the construction of thousands of windmills. Power blackouts are the only alternative.
Will, Stirling

If Sweden can set a target of a hydrocarbon free economy why can't Scotland? They already get more than 40% of their energy from renewable sources - why can't Scotland? The nuclear lobby is trying to scare us into building new plants by telling us that without nuclear we must rely on Russian gas. This is not the case, and I wish New Labour would listen to Scottish public opinion and stop trying to prop up a dead-end industry.
Alastair, Edinburgh

We should move away from these fuels and move towards wind, wave and hydro electric systems. I would like to be able to put up an domestic wind turbo at home but these systems are too expensive at the moment. These systems are the way forward and why don't we paint these wind farm turbos different colours and make them into attractions on the skyline, rather than dull grey.
Ricky Burns, Lanark

There is no one solution to our C02 reduction commitments, or indeed to our future energy needs. Nuclear power does however have a part to play. Methane and bio certainly are options but they're not enough. This can be said equally of hydrogen cells. Renewables such as wind, solar and hydro are again other options, but they in themselves are not enough either. We need to create multiple solutions to our energy needs including energy saving or efficient technologies. To rule out nuclear energy though is foolhardy. The issue of waste is problematic but not beyond the scope of our imagination. At any rate Scotland should with its wealth of resources be considering ways to not only solve our own energy needs but that of our neighbours, something I'm sure we could do at a profit.
Jojo, Aberdeen

In principle I support renewable energy but find wind farms visibly desecrate the landscape. Clean coal technology using Scottish coal appeals as does nuclear energy.
David Shaw, Elgin

Scotland does not have an energy problem, the UK will have energy issues in the future and if people in England feel that nuclear is their answer let them build the plants in their own heartland. The Scottish Parliament should be looking at all the alternatives. Besides the oil and gas from our shores they should back hydro, wind, wave, solar and also the coal sectors. It is never prudent to have a reliance on diminishing assets.
Tommy Graham, Montrose

Scotland requires a balanced "mix" of generation between renewable and nuclear and fossil fuel (coal, gas etc). However this requires to be developed mindful that the people of Scotland do not want extra pylons littering their "backyard". Therefore "new" generation requires to compliment the existing infrastructure.
John Russell, Callander

As an island nation we are best placed to maximise the use in renewable energies, wind and wave etc. However, as long as there is a drop of oil to be squeezed out of this planet, the oil lobby and tax incentivised governments will continue down this unsustainable path for the sake of profiteering and without regard for the future of this planet of which we are mere custodians for the future. At this rate - some future!
Marc Johnston, Glasgow

I think we are going to have to reopen the coal mines. Nuclear power is the only other real alternative. France and Sweden use nuclear with little mishap. Wind/wave technology is not far enough advanced to use as of yet.
Neil Small, East Kilbride

Solar panels pre-heating domestic water, would substantially cut fuel consumption. If government grant aided this programme, the costs of installation and solar panel materials would fall dramatically - economies of scale (cavity wall insulation is an example). Why not try a test town or village to see what take-up there is? Why spend millions on wind turbine grants, I suspect it is not in the interests of the generators to cut power consumption, it would hurt their income. Nuclear power-it's a dead cert! No pun intended.
Bill Gray, Glasgow

More emphasis on energy efficiency and renewables is needed. We all need to be better informed about what we can do to insulate our homes and save energy so that we do the right thing. It also makes no economic or environmental sense for shops to keep blasting heat out of open doors and into the streets during cold weather. The government should respect the public's desire for safe, clean, sustainable energy by building a properly integrated energy strategy around an urgent and massive investment in renewables. Unless the problem of nuclear waste can be resolved imminently, we cannot justify pouring more money into a technology which has already generated a potentially lethal legacy for countless generations to come.
Linda Dunion, Cellardyke, Fife

It is odd that people think nuclear would reduce our reliance on energy sources from abroad - where do we think that uranium comes from? Is it mined in the Highlands? No - it comes from abroad, places like Sierra Leone. And how much of it is there left? Probably about 40 years at the current rate. If we go headlong towards nuclear, we would just be replacing one short-term fuel supply (oil) with another (uranium). This is hardly long term planning.
Mark Sydenham, Edinburgh

There are two environmental issues facing Scotland, one is energy production, the other is waste disposal. Why not use some joined up thinking and combine both issues. This would result in the need for some energy from waste incinerators, ideally two in the central belt and one in the north east. Thus we would be creating energy from our waste, negating the prehistoric "dig a hole and bury it" attitude to waste and reducing the needs for nuclear power.
Graeme, Fife

With higher energy prices for imported fuels and continued volatility in the Middle East, the sooner we once again become self-sufficient in energy production, the better! If we can do that using renewable resources in the main, the happier I for one will be! Maybe the Scottish Executive could look at providing grants, even to those of us who work, for home insulation and energy efficient boilers?
Andrew Kerr, Livingston



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