Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Power from Peat : A Lesson from the Past

100 years ago, energy experts advised us that we could reduce dependence on imported coal by using our own peat to power industry. Germany and Denmark were held up as examples to follow for Ireland. Sound familiar ? Peat, notwithstanding the environmental impact on bogs from it's large scale extraction, is one of the most polluting sources of fuel and Ireland is still using it as a power generation source today (although the subsidy is to phased out). We can now see that the energy experts got it really wrong. The claims they made at the time are reminiscent of claims been made now by green energy advocates. 

Newspaper article from 1916

Before we begin harvesting our own fuel sources, proper analysis needs to be carried out. Peat generation eventually needed a subsidy to remain profitable. Coal generation never required a subsidy.

We now have technical and environmental assessments that carry legal standing to ensure this doesn't happen again. Why aren't we doing them ?


  1. If you put that point to my late father he would respond "Sure that would be doing it right"

  2. Not to be flippant, this proves that there has been an obsession in Ireland about becoming self sufficient in energy but not oranges. They have cut away the peat bogs which were unique to Ireland and Scotland. It is part of the cause of flooding on the Shannon river. After it all, we have oil dirt cheap, natural gas dirt cheap and coal ripe for the picking. Denmark is giving away its electricity. When is the penny going to drop that energy is as important as water and air and all three are in plenty-full supply. Getting that across to voters in the face of media connivance is the challenge facing us, but we are very resourceful.

  3. You have to pay to put you cash on deposit in Japan. What does that tell you about the state of the world economy built of fake electricity generation. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/29/bank-of-japan-shocks-markets-by-adopting-negative-interest-rates?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+main+NEW+H&utm_term=153631&subid=10792734&CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2