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bog cuttings

Your television may be running on turf. Really

Around 6% of the nations power is still drawn from peat burning power stations.

TURF HAS ALWAYS been pretty important to Irish society.

It may come of as something of a surprise, however, that a chunk of the country’s power still comes from the traditional fuel source.

While the ESB use an array of modern fuel sources, around 6% of the nation’s power still comes from peat burning power stations.

turf cutting in kildare Turf cutting festival in Kildare Photocall Photocall

Currently, two fuel stations, one in Lough Ree and another in West Offaly, are powered by bog cuttings.

The Lough Ree power station has been operational since 2004 and produces 91MW of electricity a day while the station in West Offaly has been running since 2005 and produces 137MW.

Nationally, power usage peaks at around 3,600MW daily. The 226MW produced by the two stations accounts for 6.2% of our overall consumption.

The peat for the stations is supplied by Bord na Mona.

The ESB describes the “high moisture content” of turf as presenting a challenge but that it is working on facilities to deal with this.

So, if you live in the Midlands, there is a good chance that the device you are reading this on is powered by turf.

However, despite still providing a fairly significant chunk of the nation’s power, these peat burning stations may not be long for this world. Plans have been announced to sell the two stations before 2020.

At least in the meantime we can enjoy the oddity of an ESB truck zipping through the Irish countryside pulling a trailer full of turf:

turf van The sighted vehicle

This vehicle was spotted last month cascading through the back roads.

The image shows the distinctive ESB truck pulling a trailer containing what appears to be an awful lot of the traditional home heating material.

It is thought that the driver of the truck may have been using the vehicle outside of its official capacity though.

In response to a query by, a spokesperson for ESB, said:

“We are currently investigating this matter, focusing on where the photograph was taken with a view to identifying the vehicle and the driver.”

The use of ESB transport vehicles for personal use is strictly against ESB Networks policy and ESB will deal appropriately with every instance brought to our attention.

Read: Ever wondered what it looks like inside the Poolbeg chimneys?

Read: ESB power stations cut CO2 emissions by 1.5 million tonnes last year 

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