DEAR EDITOR: Today, I look out my window at six wind turbines, 6km in the distance. They are not rotating. So what do I do today if I need to boil the kettle? I have to hope that my electricity supplier has access to fossil fuel to turn their turbines and generate the electricity that these turbines are clearly not producing today and indeed on many days.

I must also point out that if these turbines do not rotate for a week or indeed a month, I will still be able to boil the kettle because Ireland’s energy-producing system is totally backed up by fossil fuels, I’m told.

I conclude therefore that wind energy is not a substitute for fossil fuel but perhaps a supplement, as to have a secure supply system, one needs approximately 100% fossil fuel backup. That must, at best, be very expensive and, at worst, be very wasteful of taxpayers’ money as someone must pay for this duplicate system.

Other countries are turning to nuclear at a fraction of the cost, I’m told. Where did we go wrong?

The real irony of the situation as it develops is that Ireland is currently getting nuclear power from other countries but, of course, it isn’t free and we don’t control its supply or indeed price. In the next 10 years we will be in the absurd situation where the French will sell us nuclear power when the highly subsidised Irish wind energy system is not working when the wind does not blow.

Of course, we all understand that total or substantial reliance on fossil fuel is damaging the planet and we need alternatives. Ireland has indeed been remiss in this regard. However, the question is, are large-scale wind turbines a suitable substitute for fossil fuels and at what price to rural Ireland?

At present, Ireland appears to be driven by a green ideology that says ‘wind energy good, fossil fuel bad’. Of course, fossil fuel is bad for the environment but is wind energy good or reliable or, indeed, a viable long-term replacement? There is an expressed target that says that Ireland can produce 80% of its energy needs from wind energy. Perhaps it can but should it logically do so? Let’s have a calm reasoned discussion about it, as opposed to a no-questions-asked green ideology.

I have not seen any research studies that show that an almost total reliance on wind energy is reliable long-term or indeed financially prudent or viable.

When developing energy policy and embarking on large-scale projects in EU countries, it is a necessary stated legal requirement to do a strategic environmental assessment (SEA). I am not aware of any having been carried out.

We seem to be relying on ideology, as opposed to strategic thinking.