Bog Down, Wind’s Up


Peat has been used as a source of energy in Ireland for at least 1,000 years. But it may be on its way out, as the Emerald Isle turns to another energy source of which it has unlimited quantities: Wind. (The Economist)

Use our study guide to learn about peat, the forgotten fossil fuel.

Isn’t this a lovely photo? These stacks of peat (also called turf) have been harvested from a bog in Ireland. After drying in the sun, the bricks will be further dried using heat and pressure. The dried bricks are used as fuel, mostly for heating homes and businesses.
Photograph by Noel Allan, Your Shot

Discussion Ideas



We love this image of women carrying peat (“a great fuel of Ireland,” according to the caption) to their thatched-roof, whitewashed cottage in 1903. The women are from the village of Dooagh, on Achill Island, which is part of County Mayo on Ireland’s west coast. Although 87% peat bog (!), it may be an ideal location for an offshore wind farm.
Photograph by William H. Rau, courtesy Library of Congress. Public domain





The Economist: Ireland is ditching peat for energy from wind

Nat Geo: Peat: The Forgotten Fossil Fuel study guide

Nat Geo: What is wind energy?

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