The Scotch Whisky industry’s drive for environmental sustainability and carbon reduction at distillery sites has been boosted by the success of an on-site bio-energy plant commissioned one year ago by Clearfleau (leading British provider of on-site Anaerobic Digestion – AD plants) at Diageo’s Glendullan distillery in Speyside, Scotland.
The plant is delivering a 25% reduction in fossil fuel energy demand at the distillery, saving Diageo significant costs and reducing its carbon footprint by 1,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. On-site digestion technology is boosting the circular economy in Scotland’s distillery sector.
12 month’s results show on-site anaerobic digestion at the Glendullan distillery at Dufftown (in the heart of Speyside), is converting approximately 1,000m3 per day of malt whisky distillery co-products into valuable renewable energy. This is about 1 million m3 of biogas per year – producing 6000 MW hours of thermal energy for the distillery.
Diageo and Clearfleau collaborated closely in developing the bio-energy plant at Glendullan and the initial plant at the nearby Dailuaine distillery that has been operational for over 3 years. Each on-site plant comprises a high-rate digester, specifically designed to handle liquid distillery co-products, followed by aerobic treatment for water clean-up.
The AD plants reduce the incoming COD load by over 95% and minimise further treatment required for the discharge of cleansed water to nearby rivers. It will help Diageo meet the Scottish Environment Protection Agency’s (SEPA) new plans for enhanced resource use – achieving low carbon emissions, improved materials use and energy savings. It will also enable local farmers to replace fossil-fuel-derived fertiliser with nutrient rich bio-solids.
Digestion of distillery residues is making a major contribution to Scottish targets for both carbon mitigation and the generation of renewable energy. The net carbon savings for the two plants, based on replacement of aerobic treatment with the innovative anaerobic bio-energy solution deployed at Dailuaine and Glendullan is about 3 tonnes of carbon a day.
Diageo also took the opportunity to invest in a new pipeline linking the nearby Mortlach and Dufftown Distilleries to the bioenergy plant at Glendullan, allowing co-products from all three distilleries to be processed and removing over 15 trucks a day from the local roads.
If the impact on the transport of co-products is included, the overall saving of carbon for the two sites increases to over 3,000 tonnes of carbon a year – for an expected 20-year period. If 10 additional, comparable on-site bio-energy plants were to be installed in the Whisky sector in the next 3 years, the net annual saving could exceed 30,000 tonnes of carbon.
With the distillery sector setting tougher sustainability targets, SEPA’s beyond compliance ‘one planet prosperity strategy’ endorses practical action
Craig Chapman, Chief Executive of Clearfleau said:
“With the distillery sector setting tougher sustainability targets, SEPA’s beyond compliance ‘one planet prosperity strategy’ endorses practical action, such as optimising energy output from un-wanted co-products. We are working with Diageo and other distillers to deliver renewable energy solutions that support carbon reduction targets and a more circular approach to resource use.”
Diageo is committed to being one of the most environmentally sustainable beverage companies across its global operations. The company’s collaboration with Clearfleau at its Speyside distilleries has made a significant contribution towards this goal in its Scotch Whisky operations in Scotland. By boosting distillery efficiency, we hope to encourage more Scottish distillers to generate value from the residues from the whisky distillation process.
7 New Technologies That Could Radically Change Our Energy Consumption
Most of our focus on technological development to lessen our environmental impact has been focused on cleaner, more efficient methods of generating electricity. The cost of solar energy production, for example, is slated to fall more than 75 percent between 2010 and 2020.
This is a massive step forward, and it’s good that engineers and researchers are working for even more advancements in this area. But what about technologies that reduce the amount of energy we demand in the first place?
Though it doesn’t get as much attention in the press, we’re making tremendous progress in this area, too.
New Technologies to Watch
These are some of the top emerging technologies that have the power to reduce our energy demands:
- Self-driving cars. Self-driving cars are still in development, but they’re already being hailed as potential ways to eliminate a number of problems on the road, including the epidemic of distracted driving ironically driven by other new technologies. However, even autonomous vehicle proponents often miss the tremendous energy savings that self-driving cars could have on the world. With a fleet of autonomous vehicles at our beck and call, consumers will spend less time driving themselves and more time carpooling, dramatically reducing overall fuel consumption once it’s fully adopted.
- Magnetocaloric tech. The magnetocaloric effect isn’t exactly new—it was actually discovered in 1881—but it’s only recently being studied and applied to commercial appliances. Essentially, this technology relies on changing magnetic fields to produce a cooling effect, which could be used in refrigerators and air conditioners to significantly reduce the amount of electricity required.
- New types of insulation. Insulation is the best asset we have to keep our homes thermoregulated; they keep cold or warm air in (depending on the season) and keep warm or cold air out (again, depending on the season). New insulation technology has the power to improve this efficiency many times over, decreasing our need for heating and cooling entirely. For example, some new automated sealing technologies can seal gaps between 0.5 inches wide and the width of a human hair.
- Better lights. Fluorescent bulbs were a dramatic improvement over incandescent bulbs, and LEDs were a dramatic improvement over fluorescent bulbs—but the improvements may not end there. Scientists are currently researching even better types of light bulbs, and more efficient applications of LEDs while they’re at it.
- Better heat pumps. Heat pumps are built to transfer heat from one location to another, and can be used to efficiently manage temperatures—keeping homes warm while requiring less energy expenditure. For example, some heat pumps are built for residential heating and cooling, while others are being used to make more efficient appliances, like dryers.
- The internet of things. The internet of things and “smart” devices is another development that can significantly reduce our energy demands. For example, “smart” windows may be able to respond dynamically to changing light conditions to heat or cool the house more efficiently, and “smart” refrigerators may be able to respond dynamically to new conditions. There are several reasons for this improvement. First, smart devices automate things, so it’s easier to control your energy consumption. Second, they track your consumption patterns, so it’s easier to conceptualize your impact. Third, they’re often designed with efficiency in mind from the beginning, reducing energy demands, even without the high-tech interfaces.
- Machine learning. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have the power to improve almost every other item on this list. By studying consumer patterns and recommending new strategies, or automatically controlling certain features, machine learning algorithms have the power to fundamentally change how we use energy in our homes and businesses.
Making the Investment
All technologies need time, money, and consumer acceptance to be developed. Fortunately, a growing number of consumers are becoming enthusiastic about finding new ways to reduce their energy consumption and overall environmental impact. As long as we keep making the investment, our tools to create cleaner energy and demand less energy in the first place should have a massive positive effect on our environment—and even our daily lives.
Responsible Energy Investments Could Solve Retirement Funding Crisis
Retiring baby-boomers are facing a retirement cliff, at the same time as mother nature unleashes her fury with devastating storms tied to the impact of global warming. There could be a unique solution to the challenges associated with climate change – investments in clean energy from retirement funds.
Financial savings play a very important role in everyone’s life and one must start planning for it as soon as possible. It’s shocking how quickly seniors can burn through their nest egg – leaving many wondering, “How long your retirement savings will last?”
Let’s take a closer look at how seniors can take baby steps on the path to retiring with dignity, while helping to clean up our environment.
Tip #1: Focus & Determination
Like in other work, it is very important to focus and be determined. If retirement is around the corner, then make sure to start putting some money away for retirement. No one can ever achieve anything without dedication and focus – whether it’s saving the planet, or saving for retirement.
Tip #2: Minimize Spending
One of the most important things that you need to do is to minimize your expenditures. Reducing consumption is good for the planet too!
Tip #3: Visualize Your Goal
You can achieve more if you have a clearly defined goal in life. This about how your money can be used to better the planet – imagine cleaner air, water and a healthier environment to leave to your grandchildren.
Investing in Clean Energy
One of the hottest and most popular industries for investment today is the energy market – the trading of energy commodities. Clean energy commodities are traded alongside dirty energy supplies. You might be surprised to learn that clean energy is becoming much more competitive.
With green biz becoming more popular, it is quickly becoming a powerful tool for diversified retirement investing.
The Future of Green Biz
As far as the future is concerned, energy businesses are going to continue getting bigger and better. There are many leading energy companies in the market that already have very high stock prices, yet people are continuing to investing in them.
Green initiatives are impacting every industry. Go Green campaigns are a PR staple of every modern brand. For the energy-sector in the US, solar energy investments are considered to be the most accessible form of clean energy investment. Though investing in any energy business comes with some risks, the demand for energy isn’t going anywhere.
In conclusion, if you want to start saving for your retirement, then clean energy stocks and commodity trading are some of the best options for wallets and the planet. Investing in clean energy products, like solar power, is a more long-term investment. It’s quite stable and comes with a significant profit margin. And it’s amazing for the planet!
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