The UK government will help 17 distilleries in the country move to low-carbon fuels such as hydrogen via a previously announced GBP-10-million (USD 13.6m/EUR 11.1m) fund, the government said today.
Eleven distilleries in Scotland and six in England have been successful in the first phase of the Green Distilleries Competition and will receive between GBP 44,000 and GBP 75,000 for feasibility studies. Projects include the use of hydrogen and biofuel boilers and geothermal energy in the companies' production processes.
The government said that the announcement is part of its commitment to build back greener and work towards achieving net zero by 2050. It estimates that the funding will allow distilleries to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by almost 1 million tonnes a year, which is equivalent to taking 200,000 cars off the road.
"Every business can play a part in the green industrial revolution and this funding will allow UK distilleries to lead the way by making their production cleaner while also creating jobs," said energy and clean growth minister Kwasi Kwarteng.
Exhibiting 20% growth in 2019, the UK's iconic distilleries industry is well placed to be at the heart of the country's recovery from coronavirus, according to the announcement. The Scotch whisky industry supports 40,000 jobs in the UK, including more than 10,000 direct jobs in Scotland, 7,000 of which in rural Scottish areas, the government notes.