Bord na Móna permanently ends peat harvesting in Ireland

Bord na Móna conclusion of peat harvesting marks a key milestone in its transformation into a green energy player.

Bord na Móna said today (15 January) that it has formally ended all peat harvesting on the island of Ireland under what it terms its “brown to green” strategy.

As part of this strategy, by 2030  Bord na Móna will have developed wind, solar and other assets capable of supplying in the region of one third of all Irish homes with renewable energy. It also plans to be the leading collection and recycling business in Ireland by 2030, supporting national circular economy objectives. 

“Today marks the formal end to the company’s association with peat harvesting, as we move on to tackle the critical challenges concerning climate change, energy supply, biodiversity and the circular economy”

Bord na Móna also recently launched a Peatland Restoration Plan of international significance. The plan, which involves an investment of €115m, will harness the natural power of peatlands to secure a store of over 100m tonnes of carbon in perpetuity, cut emissions and capture millions of tonnes more in the coming years.

The company says the plan also secures employment for 350 employees previously engaged in peat harvesting activities.

Low carbon enterprise vision

Man in blue suit under a wind turbine and blue sky.

CEO of Bord na Móna Tom Donnellan

 

“The Brown to Green strategy has involved the transformation of Bord na Móna from a traditional peat business into a climate solutions company,” said the CEO of Bord na Móna Tom Donnellan.

“The progress made over the past two years means we are now fully focused on renewable energy generation, recycling and the development of other low carbon enterprises. While there are many advantages to the changes we have made, the key benefits include the high value, sustainable employment we are providing and the significant support we are delivering to Ireland’s objective, to become carbon neutral by 2050.

“As we have put our new climate focused business in place, we have also completely stopped a number of high carbon operations and transitioned others to a more sustainable model. During this period, peat harvesting has already been wound down and stopped.”

Oweninny Wind Farm at dawn.

Oweninny Wind Farm at dawn

 

Donnellan said the company’s last full peat harvest took place in 2018, followed by a partial harvest in 2019 and a full suspension of harvesting operations last year.

“The company has today decided to make this suspension permanent and cease any remaining harvesting preparations, including planning and substitute consent applications. Today marks the formal end to the company’s association with peat harvesting, as we move on to tackle the critical challenges concerning climate change, energy supply, biodiversity and the circular economy,” said Donnellan.

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 15 January 2021