Introducing the booze-fueled power plant
Bourbon's birthday was yesterday, but if you're anything like me, you're still celebrating. So you'll be glad to know that whisky — we'll go with the Scottish spelling, because this is happening in Scotland — is the newest addition to the Unlikely Biofuels Club. Helius Energy is building a 7.2-megawatt plant in Scotland that will run off of waste from whisky distilling. Isn't that so much classier than powering your car with Four Loko?
There's more to the story that's not quite as delightful: The plant will get a lot of its energy from burning the whisky byproducts with wood chips, which is renewable (the company is committed to responsible wood sources) but not so green. Still, Helius says they'll save about 46,000 metric tons of CO2 per year. The facility will only make as much energy as two wind turbines, but consider that the byproducts — mainly used grains and pot ale, i.e. crap not even desperate lushes like me would drink — were previously just getting wasted. HA HA, WASTED! GET IT?
If we can get a few more plants like this going, we could probably even set up a sneaky system where all the despair drinks we knock back over our country's addiction to fossil fuels then contribute to renewable power generation. The circle of life!