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Hydrogen for Scottish Distilleries: a research study


The aim of the study was to help distillery operators to better understand the techno-economic and regulatory implications of using hydrogen to decarbonise their energy requirements for heat, and to inform their decisions on potential hydrogen projects suitable for their sites. Transport was out of scope. The study also allows producers to better understand the market opportunity, in terms of potential demand for distillery projects.


The study involved literature review, desk research and industry engagement.


A wide range of decarbonisation options are available to distilleries, and each site must carry out detailed studies to identify the best pathway. The report explains six archetypes of hydrogen production which distilleries may consider to produce hydrogen on site or procure it from a third party, depending on their site’s characteristics. The report explored cost projections which suggest that hydrogen will achieve cost parity with fuel oil in the 2040s but will remain more expensive than natural gas. Distilleries must consider hydrogen’s differences in physical characteristics, infrastructure requirements and regulations to design a suitable hydrogen project.


The report recommended that distilleries carry out bespoke evaluations on a site-by-site basis and encouraged them to use the information and case studies presented. Funding gaps may need to be filled to enable commercial adoption of hydrogen in distilleries, through Capex grants and training schemes. Regulations and emissions reporting should be reviewed to enable new energy projects, and several Hydrogen Hubs can be well placed to create bespoke plans for the distilleries in their area.

Author Ricardo
Published Year 2023
Report Type Research
  • Business infrastructure
    Supporting key sectors
  • Sectors
  • Equity
    Sustainable development