Putting record straight over my views on renewables

IT is a pity that it is not possible to have a sensible debate with Bernard Ingham about the UK’s energy policy, climate change, nuclear power and wind turbines.

In his August 2 Eye View he still does not answer the questions put to him but instead insults people he disagrees with.

At the same time he finds it “not entirely comforting that so few respond” to his views. Perhaps so few find it worth replying because it is so difficult to have a sensible debate with him. You get the impression that Bernard Ingham just wants to create controversy. “Controversy is everything in modern journalism” he writes. I thought the purpose of journalism was to inform the public so the public can take part in democracy.

One way of creating controversy is to suggest that your opponents have views they have never expressed – like “a community wind turbine in Blackshaw Head would abolish fuel poverty and avoid whatever global warming is taking place.”

Or when I argue that the nuclear industry cannot get insurance to cover for a large incident (like the one we saw in Japan) but need the tax payer to guarantee for such large clean-ups, we get the response that the nuclear industry “is generally required to insure”. But how much? For a large nuclear accident? If the nuclear industry had to insure for large accidents no nuclear power stations would be built.

Steve Andrews asks (August 9) why we have more wind turbines than solar panels? We do not. Since April 2012 we have seen 248,000 micro generation systems installed, with a total installed capacity of 1GW. Photovoltaic solar panels represent 92 per cent of this installed capacity.

David Fletcher suggests I have a love affair with wind turbines. I do not – I have a love affair with all renewable technologies, including those David suggested (August 16). Wind turbines are not suitable everywhere. For example they should not be on peat land, as disturbances to the peat during construction will release large amounts of methane – a greenhouse gas.

We need all the renewable technologies if we want to have an energy system that is not dependent on importing large amounts of fossil fuels, not damaging our health or the environment and can produce sufficient and reliable energy. No one renewable technology can be the sole solution.

Finn Jensen, Blackshaw Head.