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Funding to support biomass, hydrogen use at Scottish distilleries

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The UK Government has opened a £10 million (€11 million) fund to kick-start green innovation across Scotland’s distillery industry.

Thanks to this new support, distilleries will be able to harness energy sources such as biomass, low-carbon hydrogen, and repurposed waste to power their operations.

Currently, there are 133 malt and grain distilleries operating in Scotland making up nearly half of all UK distilleries. The funding will help them produce their whiskies while contributing to taking pollution equivalent to emissions from 10,000 cars out of the atmosphere.

Kwasi Kwarteng MP, Energy and Clean Growth Minister, said: “Scottish distilleries will not only be producing iconic drinks enjoyed the world over, but will now also be blazing a trail by developing cutting-edge low-carbon technologies in the process.

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

Helping distilleries to ‘go green’ in Scotland and the rest of the UK will contribute towards net-zero emissions by 2050 target. The funding comes as the UK Government continues to ramp up its green economic recovery to COVID-19, ahead of COP26 in 2021.

The funding will also be open to distillers producing Scottish gin. 110 Scottish gins are being produced in more than 60 distilleries, including Hendrick’s, Gordon’s, and Tanqueray.

“The Scotch Whisky industry welcomed the new Green Distilling Fund announced in the March budget as an important step on our sustainability journey,” said Dagmar Droogsma, director of the industry at the Scotch Whisky Association.

“The use of innovative technology is among several approaches that the industry could adopt as it works towards net-zero by 2045, as outlined in our recent net-zero report.

“This fund will provide us with the opportunity to put forward bids for demonstration projects for so-far untested technologies, helping the industry play its part in reaching Scotland’s emissions targets.”