UK distilleries toast to a green future

UK distilleries toast to a green future

From Orkney to Cornwall, distilleries across the UK have once again received government funding to decarbonise production processes with the introduction of innovative technologies such as hydrogen and geothermal energy.

Nearly £9m ($12.4m) of Government funding was this week (20th March) announced to help the green transition in 12 Scottish Distilleries and 5 in England, helping prevent pollution equivalent to the annual carbon dioxide emissions of Norwich.

In the first phase of funding, distilleries received up to £75,000 ($103,000), helping them boost decarbonisation research and development, with schemes including the use of hydrogen. They can then bid for further grants of up to £3m ($4.1m).

Projects that have already received funding include the Uist Distilling Company on the Isle of South Uist, Bruichladdich Distillery on the isle of Islay and Orkney’s Highland Park Distillery. The Uist Distilling Company has incorporated hydrogen into its process.

“From whisky and gin to rum and vodka, the UK’s distilleries are famous around the world for their innovation, and it is great to see them use this to get into the spirit of going green,’ said Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan.

“The funding announced today will support one of our most iconic industries to go further and faster in cutting their carbon emissions and build back greener – something we can all raise a toast to.”

Hydrogen experts are already immersing themselves in such projects. Back in January, Locogen and Logan Energy said they will help whisky distilleries in Benbecula and Inverkeilor, Scotland, move away from traditional distilling processes that rely on burning fuel oil or natural gas, to a more environmentally friendly alternative that embraces green hydrogen.

At the time, the companies said they would look at the feasibility of creating hydrogen onsite through the installation of renewable energy generation, as well as finding markets for any excess hydrogen created.

Read more: Locogen and Logan Energy help distilleries go green

“Right across the country, from Edinburgh to Orkney, it’s wonderful to see so many Scottish distilleries moving forward to the next stage of this competition, allowing them to bid for a share of £8.9m ($12.3m) UK government funding,” said UK Government Minister for Scotland, Iain Stewart.

“This funding will support local businesses to cut carbon emissions and create sustainable jobs, helping us build back greener as we prepare to host COP26 in Scotland later this year.”

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