Beer and solar have become great mates over the past decade, with brewers near and far, great and small, harnessing the sun to make the magic happen – and many a solar farm built in the name of making beer.
This week, it’s the turn of Dutch brewer Heineken, which has inked a deal with Spanish renewables giant Iberdrola to buy all of the output of a new 50MW PV farm being built next to Iberdrola’s existing El Andévalo wind farm in Spain’s south-west.
The deal will take Heineken’s Spanish operations – including four breweries – to 100 renewable by October this year, while boosting the company’s global goal of powering production with 70 per cent renewable energy by 2030.
It also puts Heineken in the ball-park of some of its international competitors, including Anheuser-Busch InBev, which in 2017 committed to the target of sourcing 100% renewable energy for its global operations by 2025.
In Australia, the AB InBev-owned brewer Carlton & United – which makes such iconic Australian beverages as Victoria Bitter, Foster’s Lager and Carlton Draught – quickly fell in line, reaching 100 per cent renewable by the end of 2018 via an offtake deal with Victoria’s 112MW Karadok solar farm.
Late last year, CUB was joined by local rival Lion – whose beers include Furphy, XXXX GOLD, Tooheys New and Little Creatures – which pledged to use renewable electricity only to power its operations by 2025.
The effort is being undertaken through a partnership between Lion Breweries, the Australian Hotels Association, Tourism Accommodation Australia and Engie’s retailer subsidiary Simply Energy.
The hotels, pubs and breweries will secure a supply of renewable energy at a price significantly cheaper than current wholesale electricity spot prices, while directly supporting the construction of Engie’s 120MW Silverleaf Solar Farm, set to be built in Narrabri in regional New South Wales.
And then there are the countless boutique and craft breweries around Australia that have either installed solar themselves or are outsourcing it to power their own green-beer operations.
You can read about all of those here, and perhaps enjoy a solar-brewed beer while you do so. ¡Salud!