Ireland’s most important domestic fuel
Ireland primarily uses peat for electricity generation, which makes it different from the other peatproducing countries where the emphasis is on heating. There are three major peatfuelled condensing power plants in Ireland, producing over 6% of the country’s energy demand. Peat is also traditionally used for heating individual buildings. In total, approximately one million people in Ireland use peat to heat their homes.
Next to wind, peat is currently Ireland’s most significant domestic energy source. Its importance is stressed by the fact that 89% of Ireland’s energy is produced from imported fuels. The energy peat industry employs 1,500 people. Privately harvested energy peat provides an estimated 8,000 - 9,000 additional jobs.
The importance of peat is also recognized at national level. The Irish National Peatland Strategy published in 2014 states that peat production for energy remains important for local and national economies. However, peat production will decrease in Ireland by 2030, as the peat extraction sites controlled by Bord na Móna will be used up. Areas released from peat production are nevertheless used for continued energy production: wind energy generation has already begun and both solar and energy crop possibilities are being developed.