£10m for ‘green distilleries’

The government has launched a new fund to help UK distilleries “go green and cut emissions” by switching to low carbon fuels such as hydrogen, biomass and re-purposed waste.

The support will help cut emissions by half a million tonnes a year, said the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

In 2019, the UK distilleries industry grew by 20%. “This fund will provide us with the opportunity to put forward bids for demonstration projects for so-far untested technologies, helping the Scotch Whisky industry play its part in reaching Scotland’s emissions targets,” said Dagmar Droogsma, director of industry at the Scotch Whisky Association.

The industry already sources 28% of its energy from non-fossil fuel sources, according to an SWA report published earlier this year. This has helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 34%. Energy efficiency across the sector has improved 9.2% since 2008.

In June, the SWA published its net zero report. Recommendations include switching from fossil fuels to clean energy, with an emphasis on the adoption of hydrogen and other cutting-edge technology. It also outlined the “need for appropriate incentives for businesses to commit to a greener approach”.

The report states: “The relative immaturity of hydrogen technology, including strategic uncertainty about its role, production methods and distribution mean that continuing research and development will be crucial. In the build up to the anticipated wider adoption in the 2030s, pilots and demonstrations in related industrial sectors will be required.”

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