Green distilleries fund will help whisky production go green
The Green Distilleries competition will provide £10m of funding to 17 distilleries across England and Scotland
Scotch lovers will soon be able to sup their favourite tipple with a cleaner conscience, after 17 whisky distilleries today received the first phase of £10m in government funding to help the golden liquor go green.
The money will be used to cover the cost of implementing net zero production practices, such as switching to low-carbon fuels at a number of leading distilleries. The programme will help distilleries cut emissions by almost a million tonnes of CO2 a year, according to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), resulting in savings equivalent to taking 200,000 cars off the road.
Eleven distilleries across Scotland and a further six in England were chosen to receive the funding, via BEIS’s Green Distilleries competition. They will receive between £44,000 and £75,000 in the first phase of the programme, which is focused on boosting decarbonisation research and development. The schemes that have secured funding include plans to use hydrogen, biomass, biofuel boilers, and geothermal energy to enable distilleries’ production processes.
“Building back greener from the pandemic is something we can all raise a toast to,” said energy and clean growth minister Kwasi Kwarteng. “Every business can play a part in the green industrial revolution and this funding will allow UK distilleries to lead the way by making their production cleaner while also creating jobs.”
The 2020 Budget allocated £10m for the Green Distilleries competition, as part of the £1bn Net Zero Innovation Portfolio which aims to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative low-carbon technologies, systems and processes in the power, buildings, and industrial sectors.
“The Green Distilleries Fund is an important step on the industry’s journey towards net zero,” said Dagmar Droogsma, director of industry at the Scotch Whisky Association. “It will help the industry test new technologies, like hydrogen, which can be rolled out at scale in future years and enable Scotch Whisky to further drive down emissions and protect the natural environment.”
Soaring demand from Asia has fuelled global sales of UK whisky in recent years, with distilleries growing by 20 per cent in 2019. With the sector supporting 7,000 jobs in rural Scotland, the
“From Aberdeen and Glasgow to Orkney and South Uist, this funding will help create jobs, support local businesses and communities and build back greener ahead of COP26 in Glasgow later this year,” said Scotland Minister Iain Stewart.