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European Commission Boosts Algae Biofuel Status

October 22, 2012
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Algae based biofuels will count quadruple towards EU biofuels and GHG emission reduction targets under the new proposal for revising the EU biofuels policy and Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) that the EC Commission has just published. This has the potential to trigger a very positive development of research and investment in the EU algae sector as a whole, according to the European Algae Biomass Association.

The European algae biomass sector has warmly welcomed the decision by the European Commission to include algae biomass in first place on the list of substances that will count four times their energy content towards the overall 10% EU target for renewable fuels in transport, under Directive 2009/28. This gives a strong message that the development of algae based biofuels (which have no ILUC impact) will be strongly incentivized vis-à-vis conventional biofuels in the years to come.

In addition to the quadruple counting—which has the potential to attract strong investment and economic potential to the algae biomass production chain in Europe—the proposal also highlights that algae will be among the few raw materials for biofuels production for which European and public support will be ensured well beyond 2020, as stated in the explanatory memorandum.

Currently large-scale production of algae-based biofuels does not exist in Europe. Three major industrial pilot projects supported by EU R&D funds are under construction and expected to deliver answers in the next two years about when an algae-to-biofuels production chain can potentially become economically viable.

The impact of this proposal and the future development of the algae biomass sector will be discussed and analyzed in depth at the EABA Algae Biomass Conference and Expo that will be held next May 28-29, 2013 in Florence, Italy, where EU and international algae stakeholders and academia will meet with EU decision makers and EC Commission and Member States representatives.

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