YOUR report on a liquid air energy storage pilot plant at Pilsworth was delightfully encouraging.

A reminder me of the idea of running vehicle engines on re- expanding liquid nitrogen to drive the pistons.

There are books full of non-fossil fuel ideas to delight science readers; but this late century most have been defeated by the cheapness of methane gas, petrol, diesel and coal.

A similar scheme is to erect electrolysers on the disused quays of Liverpool and other ports and use the off peak wind and tidal power to split water into hydrogen and oxygen to store in "gasometers" till needed.

Then feed the hydrogen through gas turbines — otherwise jet engines — to generate power when we want it.

Not so obvious was the capital cost — the mortgage — on dams, and do we have enough big rivers?

Then there is the problem of intermittent wind and tide. Fortunately, the tide is a predictable 25-hour and monthly cycle and the French R.Rance tidal station has better ecosystems than before its building.

The statistics of wind are that even if any one place is calm for a third of the year's 8,760 hours there is always somewhere in our country where it is blowing, so between the grid links and these liquid air rechargeable batteries, we will be able to catch and store off-peak power for when we need it.

Making the equipment and using it can be the base to rebuild our industrial sector in the same way waterwheels and coal were our first industrial Keynesian multiplier priming the rest of our economy.

"Lambkins we shall live!" as Shakespeare's lowlife Pistol exclaims in Henry V.

Frank Adam

Hartley Avenue