ON Saturday, Madrid was subjected to a snow-storm, described as the worst in 50 years.

The cold weather has covered most of Europe with temperatures in the UK falling to minus 15 Celsius in places.

The long-range forecast indicates that temperatures are unlikely to rise above five degrees for the rest of the month. As might be expected, demand for electricity (and gas) has soared.

Fortunately, the National Grid still has nuclear and gas fired generators to call upon. Together they are churning out almost 70 per cent of our requirements and doing so 24/7. And our few remaining coal fired stations are working hard, day and night, to produce another seven per cent.

So, what about the much vaunted “renewables”? The thousands of wind turbines are collectively contributing 15 per cent. On the rare occasions the sun peeps through, solar panels muster three per cent. Nothing after 4pm, when the lights go on of course.

With the Government committed to shutting down the coal, nuclear and gas fired plant as quickly as it can, it is time we were told where our electricity is going to come from in the future. And how much we will each have to pay for the privilege.

DW Lacey, Durham.