A Toast to Scotland’s Green Future
Earth Day Network Intern - Shela Suh
I can assure you: Scots do love their whisky. While I still can’t take a sip with a straight face, even after a semester abroad in Edinburgh, I have gained a great appreciation for this potent spirit. In addition to being a vital part of Scotland’s economy, whisky is now also being utilized to power up to 9,000 homes in the town of Rothes in Speyside, an area famous for its whisky distilleries.
By 2013, a biomass combined heat and power plant will be able to burn draff, remains of grains produced during the distilling process, along with woodchips to generate electricity for the town. While there have been green efforts from the Scottish whisky industry in the past, this is thought to be the first project where electricity will be available for public use.
While there are some concerns that not all of the wood will be locally sourced and that the lack of draff, often used as cattle feed, will affect livestock, there are great efforts to ensure the sustainability of this project. It is indeed a surprising and creative contribution to the green movement, a promising step towards the first minister Alex Salmond’s claim that by 2025, Scotland will produce 100% of its energy from green sources.
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