Last of the peat-fired electricity power plants in Ireland switches to biomass

The end of an era of peat-fired electricity in the Edenderry power plant in Ireland switches from peat to burning biomass.

Electricty tower

The Irish Independent reported that the Co Offaly plant which is Ireland’s last peat-burning power station has switched to alternative fuel sources, thus moving away from a 74-year old industry “that decimated vast tracts of the country’s bogs”.

Opened in 2000, Edenderry burned approximately 1.2m tonnes of peat a year. Fellow stations, Lough Ree and West Offaly stations burned up another two million tonnes annually.

Bord na Móna chief executive, Tom Donnellan said “Five years ago, Bord na Móna set out on our ambitious ‘brown to green’ strategy to transform the business into a climate solutions and renewable energy leader in Ireland. Today, as we use peat to fuel our Edenderry power station for the final time, we have completed our unprecedented transition to using renewable energy sources and are now one of the largest producers of renewable electricity in the State.”

The peat briquette factory at Derrinlough closed June 2023, which means industrially extracted peat is no longer available for household burning in Ireland.

The Edenderry site is upgrading by means of a €100m investment to facilitate decarbonisation and switch to 100% biomass to deliver 118MW of renewable electricity for the national grid. There are concerns however, after it has emerged that biomass supplies had to be sources from abroad, even as far as Brazil to supplement locally-source biomass.