Eleven Scottish distilleries and six in England are beginning green innovations with the help of a £10 million UK Government fund.

The aim is to help distilleries switch to cleaner low carbon fuels such as hydrogen, cut carbon emissions and support new green jobs.

The applicants who were successful have received between £44,000 and £75,000 in the first funding round. Some are using the funds to introduce hydrogen and biofuel boilers and geothermal energy. The government says that the pollution avoided is equivalent to taking 200,000 cars off the road.

Energy and Clean Growth Minister, Kwasi Kwarteng, said: “Building back greener from the pandemic is something we can all raise a toast to.  

“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.” 

With 40,000 UK jobs supported by the Scotch Whisky industry and more than 10,000 people employed directly in Scotland it is an important sector.

One Edinburgh distillery Locogen Ltd is receiving £43,325 to switch their distillery from fuel oil to hydrogen burners.

Edinburgh-based Colorado Construction and Engineering Ltd, who are building the Port of Leith Distillery receive £73,636.80 also to use hydrogen and dual hydrogen/biofuel burners for distilleries.  The company also receives £74,768.10 to convert waste distillery draft and pot ale into a gasification gas.

Visula of the Port of Leith Distillery Harbour View Office Floor

Sunamp Ltd also an Edinburgh company receive £61,412.50 for a large-scale phase change material thermal store. 

UK Government Scotland Minister, Iain Stewart said: “It is fantastic to see so many Scottish distilleries awarded this UK Government funding. Scotland is world famous for its whisky and gin, with the spirits industry one of our greatest success stories. 

“This new funding will help the industry continue to build on its great work in tackling climate change. 

“From Aberdeen and Glasgow to Orkney and South Uist, this funding will help create jobs, support local businesses and communities and build back greener ahead of COP26 in Glasgow later this year.” 

Dagmar Droogsma, Director of Industry at the Scotch Whisky Association, said: “The Green Distilleries Fund is an important step on the industry’s journey towards net-zero. It will help the industry test new technologies, like hydrogen, which can be rolled out at scale in future years and enable Scotch Whisky to further drive down emissions and protect the natural environment. 

“With COP26 taking place in Glasgow this year, the Scotch Whisky industry has ambitious plans to build on the success of the last decade when distilleries cut greenhouse gas emissions by 34%. There is more to do, but with continued support from government the Scotch Whisky industry can continue to work towards a more sustainable future.”