Published date: 17 August 2020

Last edited date: 17 August 2020

This notice was replaced on 16 September 2020

This notice does not contain the most up-to-date information about this procurement. The most recent notice is:

Awarded contract (published 12 January 2021)

Closed early engagement

Contract summary


  • Research and development services and related consultancy services - 73000000

Location of contract

United Kingdom

Procurement reference


Published date

17 August 2020

Closing date

12 October 2020

Contract is suitable for SMEs?


Contract is suitable for VCSEs?



The £10m Green Distilleries programme aims to address decarbonisation in the spirits sector by accelerating the development of low carbon fuel switching solutions or enabling technologies.

The decarbonisation opportunities for the distillation industry can be split into four main groups; energy efficiency, fuel switching, resource efficiency and CCUS. This Competition will address fuel switching, as this is seen as the highest priority for decarbonising the industry. Fuel switching offers the highest carbon reduction opportunity due to the wide use of fossil fuels to produce heat for the distillation process.

The Green Distilleries programme aims to fund a range of different solutions, which could include electrification, hydrogen, biomass or waste. In addition, enabling technologies will be considered and could include fuel conversion, transportation or storage. The programme will be phased as follows.

Phase 1 - Feasibility (up to £500k) This phase will award up to £75k per project to develop a number of fuel switching solutions. It will be divided into two Lots; Lot 1 will focus on fuel switching of the process and onsite power production, Lot 2 will focus on innovation around fuel switch enabling technologies.

Phase 2 - Pilot demonstration (up to £9m). This phase will consider applications to pilot key components or further develop the design of the new fuel switching solutions. A pilot demonstration is not limited to a physical demonstration and may only be for part(s) of the process.

The work being funded must largely be conducted in the UK.
More detail can be found at

A virtual Stakeholder Engagement Day will be held online in early September, likely to be the 2nd September, in support of a proposed invitation to tender (ITT). Please register your interest with us via titling the email Green Distilleries and we will advise you of the finalised date and joining instructions. If you are unable to attend the Stakeholder Engagement Day, it will not affect your eligibility to respond to the ITT. We will share any slides presented and written responses to the question and answer session.

Expression of Interest

If you are interested in applying to the programme, please email titling the email Green Distilleries, and include your company name and the Lot you are most interested in. We'll then ensure you are notified once further details become available. The expression of interest is for planning purposes only. Expressing interest at this stage does not advantage a supplier and failing to express interest does not preclude a supplier from participating in the competition. The next phase of the competition will also be advertised on Contracts Finder.

Further information, once available, will also be available at

More information

Additional text


In the 2020 Budget, the Chancellor announced £10 million of new R&D funding to help decarbonise UK distilleries. This aligns closely with BEIS's wider innovation work to deliver on the government commitment to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative cheap, clean and reliable energy technologies, enabling the UK to meet net-zero.

It is estimated that there are over 400 distilleries across the UK.[1]The spirits sector is estimated to have a GVA of £8.25bn with Scotch whisky providing £5.5bn.[2] £4.7bn was through exports, making up 21% of all UK food and drink exports.[2]

The production of whisky is around seven times more energy intensive than that of gin and directly produced around 530,000 tCO2e/y in 2018.[3],[4] The majority of these emissions come from the generation of heat for the distillation process, which accounts for approximately 83% of the distillation industry's fuel consumption.[4] 56% of the fuel used is natural gas.[4] However, due to the remote location of some of the distilleries, the industry still uses a range of fossil fuels including medium/heavy fuel oil.

[1]. accessed 20/7/20
[2]. accessed 20/7/20
[3]. accessed 21/7/20
[4]. accessed 20/7/20

About the buyer


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