Government funding helps distilleries fuel a greener future

Distillery

Hydrogen and biogas will power whisky and spirit producers across the country thanks to more than £11m from the UK government.

Four projects will receive a share of the funding to decarbonise their distilling processes for the UK’s iconic whiskies and spirits. In the first phase of Green Distilleries Competition funding, 17 projects across the UK received up to £75,000 each to help boost research and development for decarbonisation projects.

Phase 2 will enable four of those projects to progress schemes that include the use of low-carbon hydrogen and biogas instead of fossil fuels in their production processes.

Projects that have received phase 2 funding include:

  • Protium Green Solutions, who are developing a system that uses hydrogen as a fuel source rather than oil in whisky production at the Bruichladdich Distillery on the Isle of Islay.
  • Locogen Ltd, whose project will be based at the Arbikie Highland Estate Distillery in Inverkeilor near Arbroath are developing and installing a green hydrogen energy system at the distillery, comprising a wind turbine, electrolyser, hydrogen storage and hydrogen boiler system.
  • Colorado Construction and Engineering, which is based in Livingston near Edinburgh, are developing a novel biofuel batch-gasification system.
  • Supercritical Solutions, a clean-tech start-up business who are developing the world’s first high-pressure ultra-efficient electrolyser to generate green hydrogen as a feedstock for the distilling process working with Beam Suntory at its Glen Garioch distillery in Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire.

Scottish Secretary, Alister Jack, said: “Scotland’s whisky industry has a proud heritage and is taking massive steps to embrace innovative technologies that will make production greener and cleaner. UK government investment like this will help secure the future of the sector and the highly-skilled jobs it supports.”

Scotch Whisky Association Chief Executive, Karen Betts, said: “This funding is a welcome boost for the industry at a time when Scotch Whisky companies are already working hard to reduce their emissions. As a result, nearly 40% of the industry’s energy is now coming from renewable sources. But we know we need to go further and faster, and that’s where the Green Distilleries Competition is so critical since it supports companies in testing new technologies.

“The results of the work undertaken through the competition are then shared across the sector, which helps everyone to map further our path to Net Zero. This is exactly the sort of industry-government partnership that will help us to secure a sustainable future for Scotch Whisky and for the communities across Scotland within which we work.”