The environmental group Friends of the Irish Environment today welcomed the closure of the two peat powered electricity generation stations at Shannonbridge and Lanesborough. The group which had previously brought an unsuccessful petition to the European Commission and a Judicial Review in the Irish Courts against the plants, said today that 'Burning peat as a fuel is three times as polluting as burning natural gas - and the carbon released by harvesting is 6 times as great per hectare as felling a tropical forest.
No EIA was required of the IPC licences for these plants. The Government should seek to convert these plants to biomass which is permitted by their licenses and use the existing terms of the Rural Development Plan to turn the damaged bogs into wilderness and amenity.
In view of what we know about climate change now, there is no doubt peat powered electricity generation is a doomed technology.