Ireland: Transfer from peat to biomass concerns

When we reported plans in Ireland to phase out peat burning power stations and switch them to more sustainable biomass it seemed like good news. However Green News ie reports that US environmental groups are unimpressed:

‘The ESB said that the transition from peat to sustainable biomass at its Midlands stations is part of its “commitment to leading Ireland’s transition to a low-carbon future”.

Both the West Offaly and Lough Ree stations will use biomass with “proven generation technology to provide reliable and predictable renewable energy” to the grid, the semi-state said.

“In making this transition, ESB will comply with relevant legislation and regulations and as part of the applications for both West Offaly Power and Lough Ree Power we have set out sustainability criteria which will be applied to the sourcing of biomass,”

However:

‘Over 30 civil society groups in the US have voiced concern that plans for biomass burning at ESB’s peat-fired power stations could pose a serious threat to southern US forests.

A letter from the 33 groups, including the National Resources Defence Council and Dogwood Alliance, was included with a submission objecting to ESB’s planning application to convert West Offaly to co-fire biomass alongside peat.

The groups object on the grounds that burning peat for another seven years and then converting to another high-carbon-emitting form of energy is incompatible with…Paris Agreement commitments.’

Full report here at Green News ie:

http://greennews.ie/us-ngos-voice-concern-esb-biomass-plans/

Image: West Offaly Power Station at Shannonbridge

Bernard Moffatt

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