Survey of Energy Resources Interim Update 2009
SER 2007 version >Peat Country Notes update
According to the Association of Finnish Peat Industries, quoted by Statistics Finland, 2007 peat production in Finland was 66% lower than in the previous year. On the other hand, Finnish consumption of peat fuel grew by about 9%. This apparent discrepancy between supply and demand is an excellent illustration of one of peat's special features. Owing to the vagaries of the weather, in particular the amount of sunshine, wind and rainfall during the peat harvesting, milling and drying season, annual production levels vary greatly. In order to cope with such circumstances, the principal peat-consuming countries maintain large buffer stocks, which enable them to smooth out supplies to power plants and other consumers.
As in Finland, bad weather seriously reduced Ireland's peat harvest in 2007. The Irish state peat authority Bord na Móna's 2007/2008 Annual Report indicates a 31% reduction in its milled peat production compared with 2006/2007, but only a 1% drop in its sales to power stations and other consumers.
Sweden's reliance on peat as a fuel is considerably lower than that of Finland or Ireland, and moreover it imports about a third of its requirements. Energy peat production in 2008 was 1.99 million cubic metres, 22.8% higher than the corresponding level in 2007. The Government's energy and climate policy (February 2009) points out that, 'under certain conditions and to a limited extent, peat can be used with a positive net climate impact'. It therefore considers that Sweden should take action to ensure that this point is taken into account by the IPCC and in the EU's regulatory framework.