The UK government has launched a £10 million research and development funding to help decarbonise the country’s distilleries.

The fund – which aims to address decarbonisation in the spirits sector – went live yesterday and comes after the Chancellor Rishi Sunake announced the scheme in March as part of its 2020 Budget. 

Called the Green Distilleries programme, the government says the funding will be used to accelerate the development of low carbon fuel switching solutions or enabling technologies.

With the number of distilleries registered in the UK on the rise, the government refers to the energy intensive production of spirits. The majority of C02 emissions come from the generation of heat for the distillation process, with some distilleries in remote locations still using fossil fuels.

With its new funding scheme, the government hopes to improve the emissions saving potential, compared with current fuels, by funding a range of different solutions such as electrification, hydrogen, biomass or waste.

The programme will be broken down into two phases; phase one will award up to £75,000 per project to develop a number of fuel switching solutions, while phase two will consider pilot demonstration which could include detailed process modelling, detailed optioneering or an engineering study.

Distilleries that are interested in applying must contact the government, while a virtual stakeholder engagement day will be held online in early September.

Earlier in the year, the UK government announced that it had provided £12 million in funding to help launch a high-tech food manufacturing and distribution campus, SmartParc, in Derby.