From a press release from Friends of the Irish Environment: 24/1/2013:
UK – Ireland Memorandum of Understanding on Energy Cooperation signed
Environmentalists call on wind energy developers to commit to bog restoration
As an Irish-UK MOU advancing the proposed export to the UK of a dedicated supply of wind energy is signed, Friends of the Irish Environment has pointed out that the cutaway and cutover Midland raised bogs should be restored and that this must be an integral part of any wind energy developments on this degraded land.
A spokesperson for FIE pointed out that ‘Irish peatlands are our greatest huge carbon store, containing more than 75% of the national soil organic carbon’.
However, with 95% of our original boglands degraded, most of our bogs are now a source of greenhouse gases, similar in scale to the country’s entire industrial and commercial emissions.
“Plans to use degraded bog for wind energy could have a double climate benefit if the opportunity is used to bring about the necessary hydrological conditions to restore the bogs around the bases of the wind turbines to a natural functioning peatland ecosystem.
But a spokesman pointed out that: ‘Building wind turbines without careful site specific conservation planning could speed up the loss of the remaining peat and undermine the climate benefits of the renewable energy produced, potentially mocking today’s renewable energy ‘cooperatiion’.
‘Very little money is required for incorporating peatlands restoration in the context of the investment in this massive international proposal, but in the current economic conditions the State is unable to undertake this work.
We call on the wind power companies involved to do things right and to take a lead in peatland restoration in Ireland.”
BOGLAND, a major EPA-funded research project, has set out the climate benefit of peatland restoration: erc.epa.ie/safer/iso19115/displayISO19115.jsp?isoID=236
Irish Peatland Conservation Council has demonstrated raised bog peatland restoration in practice: www.ipcc.ie/five-steps-that-have-the-potential-to-restore-living-bogs-in-ireland/
Bord na Móna has demonstrated blanket bog rehabilitation leading to climate protection: www.epa.ie/downloads/pubs/research/climate/CCRP_15_web.pdf