'Ireland has a psychological and environmental problem with solid fuel'
We have to move away from turf-fired heating, Environment Minister says
Ireland has a psychological as well as an environmental problem with solid fuels, which has to be addressed, the Minister for the Environment has said.
Denis Naughten, Minister for the Environment, is proposing a country-wide ban on smokey coal - 27 years since the ban was introduced in Dublin city.
He told Newstalk Breakfast this morning that one in five homes in rural Ireland's only source of heating is solid fuel. The Minister announced plans to run a pilot scheme in six rural communities to look at moving homes away from solid fuel heating.
It comes as the country's advisory watchdog on climate change recommended that coal and turf should be banned in the coming years.
While a number of powerplants use solid fuel, the Minister said plans were being looked at to move these to biomass.
But, domestic use of solid fuel, he said was more complex, and one in five homes, he said, is fully reliant on solid fuel for heating.
The pilot project, he said, would look at how homes can move away from solid fuel to renewable and sustainable forms of heating and then a national scheme can be rolled out to move away from solid fuel.
Ultimately, in relation to power generation we have to move away from coal, peat oil an even gas, he said