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Penn Energy: Biomass conversion would enable Ireland to meet EU target

March 27, 2014

A report on the Irish power sector says the conversion of a single coal-fired power plant to biomass in the west of the country would enable Ireland to be fully compliant with its obligations to the European Union renewable energy target.

Moneypoint in County Clare is a 915 MW coal-fired power plant and consultants Dr Anthony White and Malcolm Brown of BW Energy have found that a conversion to biomass, which could be accomplished for around €380 million, would mean Ireland meets its 40 per cent target for electricity from renewable resources.

Moneypoint power plant
The authors of the report, a review of energy needs for opponents of EirGrid's Grid25 electricity transmission scheme, also state that the conversion would avoid the need for a massive pylon upgrade project. Such a project would be just a tenth of the cost of new high voltage pylon routes around the country between now and 2025 and would add an additional 25 per cent of renewable energy onto the Irish power system.

On top of the 19.6pc green energy created in 2012 Ireland would meet its 40pc target for electricity from renewable sources by 2020, the report said.

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