Across Europe, as well as in Ireland, bogs have been exploited for centuries as a source of fuel. That fuel is known as peat. Peat in Ireland is used for two main purposes – to generate electricity and as a fuel for domestic heating. The raised bogs in Ireland are located mainly in the midlands.
Bord na Móna is a commercial semi-state company that was established under the Turf Development Act 1946. The company is responsible for the mechanised harvesting of peat in Ireland. For more information on Bord na Móna.
Peat Fuelled Power Plants
There are 3 peat fuelled power plants still operational in Ireland – these are Edenderry (operated by Bord na Móna), West Offaly and Lough Ree (both operated by ESB Power Generation). Bord na Móna has been co-firing peat with biomass at Edenderry for more than 5 years.
Census 2011 indicated that solid fuels (coal, peat and wood pellets) are still a common means of home heating in Ireland, particularly in the midlands. Households that use peat usually use turf or briquettes made from peat in open fireplaces or solid fuel stoves.
Ban on turf-cutting on certain bogs
The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), under the remit of the Minister for Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht, deals with Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas under the Habitats Directive. Restrictions have been imposed on the harvesting of peat in certain areas under relevant designations. For more information viste the National Parks & Wildlife Services website.
The Minister for Finance introduced, with effect from 1 May 2013, a solid fuel carbon tax (SFCT). The Revenue Commissioners have responsibility for administering the tax. It applies to coal and peat and is chargeable per tonne of product. For further information about the SFCT contact the Revenue Commissioners.