Austen Shakespeare

£11m government funding announced to help make UK alcohol industry sustainable

Hydrogen and biogas will power whisky and spirit producers across the country following a cash boost of more than £11m from the UK government.

The multi-million-pound investment announced today will help distilleries across the UK ditch fossil fuels and develop low carbon heating systems, making production processes greener and more energy efficient.

Four projects will receive a share of more than £11m to decarbonise their distilling processes for the UK’s whiskies and spirits.

The distilleries sector has the potential to cut carbon emissions by half a million tonnes every year – equivalent to emissions from powering more than 60,000 homes or taking around 100,000 cars off of the road.

Supported through the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, the winners are being announced today in the wake of the UK hosting the COP26 UN Climate Change summit in Glasgow earlier this month.

And with the Scotch whisky industry supporting 40,000 jobs across the UK, including more than 10,000 people directly employed in Scotland, the funding is hoped to create more high skilled jobs and provide opportunities for distilleries to develop their fuel transportation and storage technologies.

The announcement also comes in addition to the green targets announced in the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan and the Energy White Paper.

Energy Minister Greg Hands said: “From London to Livingston, the UK is home to some of the world’s best-loved drinks and the Green Distilleries Competition is supporting producers in this iconic industry to go further and faster in cutting carbon emissions as we build back greener.

“We have been at the forefront of the push to tackle climate change at the COP26 summit in Glasgow and today’s announcement is a key part of that.

“UK industry continues to lead the world in its innovation and commitment to meeting the challenges of tackling climate change head on. That’s certainly something worth raising a toast to.”

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