Dear Editor

Following on from the 18/11 Tivyside letter from Dave Haskell commenting on there being no need for any additional electricity generation in Wales, there only seem to be two main points of disagreement between us. The first is that the National Grid has been designed to serve the whole of the nation and is not intended to allow any particular area, such as Wales, to become self sufficient in terms of generation and demand. Why would this be a good idea?, there are always efficiency savings to any larger over any smaller infrastructure system. What happens when the CCGT power plant in Pembrokeshire has to shut down for regular maintenance?, other plant in the UK pick up the load, that is partly why it is such a successful shared national infrastructure, we haven't had brown-outs yet.

However that is not to say we won't have them soon, there have been several recent stories about the UK Grid becoming dangerously close to having only 4% spare capacity (normally aprox 30%) due to shut downs of high emission level older plant and unexpected problems such as the major fire at Didcot power plant. The UK clearly needs new generating capacity, it has been reducing significantly in Wales as Dave points out in his letter which is symptomatic of the problem.

The second point, which may not even be a disagreement at all, is that there is a desperate need for additional low carbon electricity generation. From DECC ie government figures, the 2GW CCGT plant in Pembrokeshire produces electricity with about 340 grams of CO2 emissions for every KWh of electricity produced, the figure for a wind turbine is 8-20 grams even including for all CO2 emissions in construction and maintenance over its life.

If we desperately need new low carbon generation every opportunity will eventually be taken, as without enough of the correct type of power the economy cannot function properly.

There is a window of opportunity for the community to benefit for once rather than inevitably having ever more local cash and local resources sucked out by the 'Big 6’ energy companies when they eventually push through their development ideas for the turbines. With banks offering very low interest rates to local savers and much better returns available from community energy projects such as suitable wind turbines, there is a one off opportunity for the community to have good levels of return on their savings, whilst owning, operating and benefiting from this inevitable new infrastructure.

Brian Mark

Poppit Sands