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Green energy hub could cut Scotch whisky emissions

A planned green energy hub at the Port of Cromarty Firth in Scotland could reduce the environmental impact of Scotch whisky makers Glenmorangie, Whyte & Mackay and Diageo.

The North of Scotland Hydrogen Programme will see a green hydrogen hub launch on the Cromarty Firth

The North of Scotland Hydrogen Programme aims to develop a state-of-the-art hub on the Cromarty Firth to produce, store and distribute hydrogen to the region.

The hydrogen produced at the site could one day be used by distilleries in the area. A feasibility study into the use of hydrogen power in Scotch whisky distilleries will begin this month, with results from the study due in June.

The study has been privately funded by partners including Pale Blue Dot Energy, Scottish Power, Glenmorangie, Whyte & Mackay and Diageo.

Dr Peter Nelson, operations director at The Glenmorangie Company, said: “We enthusiastically support the development of the Green Hydrogen Hub on the Cromarty Firth. This would be an important stepping stone to provide a green energy resource for the whole of the north Highlands.

“The region has huge potential to generate renewable energy and the hub will ensure the region potentially becomes a centre for this emerging technology, providing an essential ingredient of the energy mix for a sustainable future.”

The proposed hub could provide hydrogen power to businesses across the region

Decarbonise distilling

At the site, hydrogen will be produced using electrolysers powered by electricity from renewable sources, such as wind farms off the coast of the Cromarty Firth.

The delivery of green hydrogen to Glenmorangie, Whyte & Mackay and Diageo would give the producers the opportunity to decarbonise the heating of distilleries and maltings by substituting hydrogen power for fossil fuels.

Bob Buskie, chief executive of the Port of Cromarty Firth, said: “Such a hub would provide a massive boost to Scotland’s ambitions of decarbonising its economy and establishing itself as global leaders in green hydrogen technology, a sector still in its infancy.

“In the short term, we have a number of local partners with vast experience in hydrogen, distilling and utility provision who want to decarbonise their operations.

“And in the long term, there is a huge opportunity to decarbonise Highland industry, transport and heat, as well as exporting green hydrogen to other parts of the UK and mainland Europe, which doesn’t have the same offshore wind capacity as Scotland.”

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