Scotch Whisky Supplier Invests £45m to Reduce Carbon Emissions 

Exciting plans have been unveiled for a revolutionary initiative aimed at decarbonising the Scotch Whisky industry. Simpsons Malt expects that, once implemented, it has the potential to reduce carbon emissions by 25,000 tonnes annually.

The £45 million AMP Clean Energy project will involve the construction of an energy centre, equipped with electric and biomass boilers, at the largest malting site in the UK.

scotch whisky malt

Replacing fossil fuels in malt production

At Simpsons Malt Limited’s Tweed Valley Maltings, located in Berwick-upon-Tweed, the energy generated will replace the use of fossil fuel gas in malt production.

This innovative undertaking will save an amount of gas equivalent to that consumed by 11,000 homes in a year, resulting in an impressive 80% reduction in carbon emissions at the UK’s largest malting site.

Considering that approximately 2.5 kilograms of malt are required to produce just one litre of whisky, this new process will effectively save 275 grams of carbon for every litre of whisky produced.

Renewable biomass and wind for industrial heating 

The project reimagines local, renewable biomass fuel as a means of energy storage, which can be utilised during periods when surplus renewable electricity generation is unavailable. It also marks the beginning of industrial heat electrification.

A noteworthy first for the UK, a high-voltage electrical boiler will be powered by wind energy that would otherwise have been curtailed during periods of excess wind. This enables a higher level of renewable electricity generation and reduces compensation payments to wind energy generators.

In the current energy system, there is no efficient method for storing surplus renewable energy on a large scale or transmitting it to other locations. Consequently, wind turbine operators are often requested to halt their turbines on windy days.

As a consequence, UK consumers are burdened with compensating operators with hundreds of millions of pounds annually through the “energy constraint payment” mechanism.

Simpson Malt will use that excess energy to heat the electric boiler which is otherwise wasted. 

Reducing the Carbon Footprint of the Whisky Industry

The whisky industry as a whole is attempting to reduce its carbon footprint. Producing whisky is a process that takes time and energy and producers seek to reduce emissions. 

This can be seen through a number of initiatives by producers large and small, including:

Steven Rowley, operations director at Simpsons Malt Limited, had this to say about introducing sustainability at the heart of the whisky process: “As a Certified B Corporation, we are committed to minimising the impact of our operations on the environment and operating this Energy Centre at our Tweed Valley Maltings will be an important step in our objective of achieving net zero Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 2030, giving us a company-wide reduction of around 55%.

“As a result, the malt that leaves our Tweed Valley Maltings – 90% of which is destined for the distilling industry – will have a significantly reduced carbon footprint, helping our distilling customers deliver on their own sustainability objectives while also positively impacting the sector as a whole.”

The whisky industry is taking the lead when it comes to sustainability. Many whisky producers large and small are investing in reducing their carbon footprint.

As the industry continues to invest in the environment, investors can purchase whisky casks for investment. 

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