Diver at surface with whiskey bottles

Protecting the whisky for another few hundred years

We’re not going to lie to you. We’re partial to a wee tipple here at Blog HQ, and we’re not afraid to bring this fact into work with us.

Not the tipple itself, of course! But we do like to hear what the producers of our social vice are doing towards greening up the hostelries of the UK (and beyond). 

You may remember our monk-citing, rap star-studded piece about how Dom Pérignon cut back on the glass in their bottles to improve their sustainability credentials.

So we were obviously cheered to see the Independent taking the liquor angle in a report on the world’s largest tidal array, off the islands of Islay and Jura in Scotland – a project with some good-quality boozy buy-in.

Islay is truly an island of connoisseurs, home to no fewer than ten world-famous distilleries. Three of them – Lagavulin, Caol Ila and Port Ellen – are now ‘going tidal’, in a unique blend of tradition and innovation that could lead us all into the future. All the island’s domestic energy needs will also be covered by the array.

Interest in large-scale renewable energy seems to be surging, north of the border, and it’s a very global affair – with local benefits. Korean engineering firm Doosan only recently announced plans to do their renewables research in Renfrew, with the added fillip of 200 local jobs.

This global view is vital, both to developing new technology and learning how to apply it; we stand to learn a lot from our international colleagues who’ve been there and done that.

In fact, the technology being used to turn waves into whiskey off Islay comes from the investment of outside expertise: namely, Norwegian company Hammerfest Strøm AS, who developed the HS1000 tidal turbines.

Meanwhile, Scottish and Southern Energy are working towards testing particularly hardy kinds of wind turbine to thrive in the harsh conditions of the North Sea, and there are also plans for a rather grand-sounding International Technology and Renewable Energy Zone at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.

All good news, especially if you happen to work for the Scottish government. They’ve set a goal to generate 80 per cent of the country’s electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

They’re not alone in their optimism. Interest in domestic renewables is seeing a healthy rise throughout the UK , thanks to Feed-in Tariffs and the new Renewable Heat Incentive, so we reckon there’s plenty worth raising a dram to…