Sir, – The recent suspension of operations at the ESB Lough Ree power station due to environmental breaches has raised doubts over the operation of this peat-fired power station. The ESB had plans to co-fire this station with biomass in the future. On top of this, An Bord Pleanála refused ESB permission to convert the Shannonbridge peat station to co-firing with biomass on environmental grounds. These developments are worrying and lay bare the lack of strategic direction of power generation in Ireland.
If the Government is serious about the recently declared climate change emergency, then we need to shut down these inefficient power stations and develop a concerted plan to invest in power generation from efficient renewable energy sources. Scotland is currently generating over 70 per cent of its energy from renewable sources. Ireland is in a unique position to exploit wind, hydro and pumped storage energy. There is huge potential for Ireland to develop a world-class, vibrant, low-carbon economy, and we should seize this opportunity. – Yours, etc,