Bord Na Móna ends peat harvesting in drive for greener energy production

Bord Na Móna ends peat harvesting in drive for greener energy production

The ‘Brown to Green’ strategy is ongoing and the company aims to supply renewable energy for a third of Irish homes by 2030. Picture: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Bord na Móna has confirmed today the formal end of all peat harvesting operations.

The semi-state company completed its last full peat harvest in 2018 and a partial harvest in 2019. Last year, Bord na Móna suspended peat harvesting work and accelerated bog rehabilitation works.

The key milestone under the company’s ‘Brown to Green’ strategy marks further progress for Bord na Móna in its attempts to become a leading climate solutions company.

A significant pillar of this transition is the Peatland Restoration Plan, a €115m investment that employs 350 Bord na Móna staff previously involved in harvest work, that aims to secure the remaining carbon in Ireland’s peat bogs and cut emissions.

New energy focus 

Praising the progress made in the last two years by the company, Chief Executive Tom Donnellan said Bord na Móna is now fully focused on renewable energy generation, recycling and developing other low carbon enterprises.

Mr Donellan said these changes are critical for Ireland to meet its 2050 target for carbon neutrality.

“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. 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,” he said.

The formal end of peat harvesting for the distinctive Bord na Móna briquette comes as energy companies come under increasing pressure to transition away from fossil fuels and reduce carbon emissions.

Harvesting staff had already been transferred to rehabilitation schemes ahead of this decision last year in June.

The ‘Brown to Green’ strategy is ongoing and the company aims to supply renewable energy for a third of Irish homes by 2030.

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