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Planning Board rules end of use of peat as a fuel ‘key component within national climate and energy policy’

category national | environment | press release author Wednesday July 24, 2019 21:34author by foie - Friends of the Irish Environment Report this post to the editors

Press Release - Friends of the Irish Environment 23rd July 2019

Shock as ESB peat-powered plant at Shannonbridge refused permission by An Bord Pleanala

Cessation of use of peat as a fuel ‘key component within national climate and energy policy’.

An application under the Strategic Infrastructure Act for the continuation of the ESB’s peat powered plant at Shannonbridge, West Offaly, beyond 31 December 2020 has been refused by An Bord Pleanala.

FRIENDS OF THE IRISH ENVIRONMENT
PRESS RELEASE
TUESDAY 23 JULY 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Shock as ESB peat-powered plant at Shannonbridge refused permission by An Bord Pleanala

Cessation of use of peat as a fuel ‘key component within national climate and energy policy’.

An application under the Strategic Infrastructure Act for the continuation of the ESB’s peat powered plant at Shannonbridge, West Offaly, beyond 31 December 2020 has been refused by An Bord Pleanala.

In a comprehensive decision, the Board reversed Offally County Council decision to permit the plant to continue operating with a phased transition to biomass.

Not satisfied
The Board gave as its reasons that it was not satisfied that the proposed continued harvesting of peat associated with the supply of fuel to the plant would not have ‘significant indirect effects arising from the continued sourcing of peat fuel for the supply bogs. It could not be conclusively determined on the basis of the information provided that it would not adversely impact upon seven protected European sites’ - the middle Shannon SPA, the Pilgrim Road Esker, the River Suck Callows, Fin Lough, and the rivers Boyne, Blackwater Barrow and Nore.

Climate impacts
Climate impacts, water, and nuisance to residents through the delivery of biomass were all cited as reasons for refusal. Furthermore given the lack of information about regarding the source of biomass to be used as a fuel, the Board concluded ‘that it cannot reasonably be determined that the effects on the environment would be mitigated’.

Strategic energy management
The Board stated that the provision of a regionally significant power generating facility dependent on the burning of imported fuel, ‘needs to be associated and aligned with strategic energy management, planning and renewable energy policies and plans in order to achieve balanced, orderly, and sustained development. Such energy infrastructure’, the Board continued, requires accessibility to the supply network of intended fuel sources. ‘Finally’, the Board’s decision concluded, ‘it is considered that the cessation of the use of peat as a fuel is a key component within the national climate and energy policy in helping to reduce the generation of excessive greenhouse emissions from the established fascility to assist in meeting the State’s domestic, EU, and international obligations in the energy sector.

Decision 18 years late
Friends of the Irish Environment, who with other environmental groups had petitioned the European Commission in 2001 to prevent the plant’s construction, said the decision came 18 years too late for many of our bogs but that ‘it was better late than never. Let’s hope this marks the end of the dark ages for our bogs’, FIE Director Tony Lowes said.

DECISION
FULL Decision Application Number ABP_303108-18

CONTACTS
Tony Lowes, Friends of the Irish Environment 353 (0)87 2176316
Daithí Ó hÉalaithe (Irish language) +353 (0)87 6178852

 #   Title   Author   Date 
   the future is Russian     Vlad    Sat Jul 27, 2019 14:19 


 
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