Funding unveiled to help UK distilleries go green

The UK government has unveiled a new £10m fund to help distilleries go green and cut emissions by switching to low-carbon fuels such as hydrogen.


Phase one of the 'Green Distilleries' competition will provide up to £500,000 in funding for feasibility studies looking into developing technologies that enable the use of a low-carbon fuels in distilleries.

The programme will take a portfolio approach, and aims to fund a range of different green solutions for spirit manufacturers, which could include electrification, hydrogen, biomass or waste. 

It is hoped that the funding will help prevent pollution equivalent to emissions from 100,000 cars entering the atmosphere, contributing towards the UK’s legally-binding target to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“Our plan to deliver a carbon-neutral future doesn’t just mean new jobs in new industries but helping some of our oldest industries to play their part as well,” said energy and clean growth minister Kwasi Kwarteng.

“We want to harness the tremendous innovation of our distilleries so customers can enjoy their favourite tipple in the knowledge they are helping us to tackle climate change.”

In 2019, the UK distilleries industry grew by 20%, demonstrating the opportunity for the sector to play a key role in the country's recovery from COVID-19.

The latest funding is supported by the £505m BEIS Energy Innovation Portfolio, which aims to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative, cheap, clean and reliable energy technologies.

It has been welcomed by trade bodies in both Scotland and Northern Ireland, which are home to the vast majority of the UK’s distilleries.

“The use of innovative technology is among several approaches that the industry could adopt as it works towards net zero by 2045,” said Dagmar Droogsma, director of industry at the Scotch Whisky Association,

“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.”

Distilleries can register an interest in the new funding here.


Image credit: iStock

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