The climate impact of future energy peat production
The aim of this study was to estimate total greenhouse gas emissions and climate impact of different peat utilisation scenarios, using a life cycle perspective. This and previous studies show that the climate impact from energy peat utilisation is more complex than just considering the emissions at the combustion stage. There are important emissions and uptake of greenhouse gases that occur on the peatland before, during and after peat harvest. The results show that the climate impact of future peat utilisation can be significantly reduced compared to current utilisation and will be lower than the climate impact resulting from only the combustion phase. This can be achieved by choosing already drained peatlands with high greenhouse gas emissions, using a more efficient production method and by securing a low-emission aftertreatment of the cutaway (e.g. afforestation).