Whisky and Green Energy Team Up in Scotland
Although the dirty burning of peat remains indispensable to whiskey production, a new project that would power a Scottish island with wave power, and another that would convert the byproducts of distillation into biofuels, promise to turn Scotland's alcohol industry as green as a Laphroaig bottle.
The wave power project would be the most advanced of it's kind in the world, according to the BBC. Essentially underwater wind power with turbines turned by tide changes rather than zephyrs, the 10-turbine project would rest between the islands of Islay, Jura and Orkney. The powerful sea currents in that area would provide enough energy to power the entire island of Islay, home to some of the world's most famous distilleries, such as Lagavulin, Laphroaig and Bowmore. All together, the project will cost around $6.24 million (£4 million).
And when those distilleries are done consuming green power, they can produce some of their own. Scientists at Napier University in Edinburgh, Scotland, have developed a process that converts the left over grains and liquid from Scotch production into a biofuel more efficient than ethanol, according to the Guardian. The process produces a liquid called butanol, which generates 30 percent more energy per volume than ethanol.
However, both the tidal power and the butanol projects will take some time to get started. It will be a few more years before Scots can pump Scotch-derived fuel into their cars, and the tidal power project won't start running until 2013.
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