This week, Ireland turned a corner and announced new regulations for burning solid fuel from September 2022.
The big idea…
The standards target the most polluting fuels in 2 key areas…
- Coal and related products including peat briquettes must emit less than 10 grams of smoke per hour, reducing to 5 grams by 2025.
- Firewood must contain less than 25% moisture, reducing to 20% by 2025.
Of course, we’re all over this.
In fact, we’ve built our entire company around it. It’s why we exist.
We haven’t touched peat briquettes or smokeless coal since we abandoned them after a brief time during the 2015 winter. It never sat well with us so we cut them from our stock and never looked back.
We’ve been 100% focused on sustainable fuels ever since.
But sustainability is meaningless unless the new fuels actually work better than the legacy alternatives.
Wood briquettes are cleaner than the peat briquettes they replace. With single-digit moisture content, they burn more efficiently, release more heat, emit less particulates, and leave less ash to clean up.
Similarly with kiln-dried firewood, where we see moisture content in the 12-15% range, so it burns more cleanly.
Needless to spell it out, this is game-changing legislation.
Reducing particulate air pollution improves health and saves lives.
Bituminous (smoky) coal is already banned in 42 Irish towns and cities, but the new rules will extend this ban nationwide. When smoky coal was banned in Dublin in the 1990, air pollution reduced by 70% and removed Dublin’s smog and reduced deaths by an estimated 350 lives each year. We know this works, but the European Environment Agency still estimates that 1,300 premature deaths were linked to air pollution, specifically PM2.5 - fine particles with a size of 2.5 microns.
It also tackles climate change.
As Ireland switches from fossil fuels to sustainable firewood, we stop releasing ancient stored carbon into the carbon cycle. And reducing our dependence on peat allows critical wetland environments to thrive. Wildlife is restored and the rich habitats remove carbon from the atmosphere.
Sometimes you have to go out on a limb.
Take a bet on something you care about.
And thanks to tens of thousands of customers who saw what we saw, it’s working out.
Thanks for supporting Ecofuel’s mission for a better, more sustainable future.