Algal energy roadmap in India: Opportunities for Finnish industries and SMEs

Eemeli Hytönen, Ari Jussila, Sari Kuusikunnas

Research output: Book/ReportReport

Abstract

Use of microalgae as a biofuel source has many advantages, as is acknowledged worldwide. Many countries are eager to offset carbon dioxide emission and develop indigenous and sustainable energy sources, especially countries which are dependent on imported energy. The relatively high growth rate and ability of microalgae to sequester carbon dioxide are main factors driving the development of future algal based biofuels. Microalgae also have potential to be a more sustainable source of energy, compared to other crops such as rapeseed or oil palm and lignocellulose. This results partly from the fact that algae can be cultivated on wasteland and the cultivation does not need fresh water but instead lower-quality water such as saline or wastewater can be used. This also leads to the possibility of wastewater bioremediation, since microalgae are able to utilize nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater and absorb some heavy metals. Rising energy prices and increasing global energy demand are key driving forces for alternative energy solutions. Algal-based energy is one of the options being considered, but at the moment the production costs are significantly higher than the market price of energy. However, there are many ways to narrow this gap. Developing more efficient production technology is one way to achieve this goal. Integrated solutions, for example obtaining essential, expensive nutrients from wastewater, is another. Furthermore, if algae can be used to produce some high-value products or by-products as well, the operation could already be profitable. To support the development of algal energy, government subsidies are in place, however market-driven development of the industry is important. Currently microalgae are not cultivated at commercial scale for energy purposes only. There are however many companies and research institutes developing solutions to all of the main challenges. This report presents the findings of a roadmap work carried out in 2013 based on interviews with Indian experts and VTT expert workshops. The roadmap target is the potential role of Finnish SMEs in algae-based energy system in India.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages38
ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-133-7
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeNot Eligible

Publication series

SeriesVTT Technology
Number158
ISSN2242-1211

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Keywords

  • Roadmap
  • India
  • algae
  • energy
  • driver
  • barrier
  • SME

Cite this

Hytönen, E., Jussila, A., & Kuusikunnas, S. (2014). Algal energy roadmap in India: Opportunities for Finnish industries and SMEs. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. VTT Technology, No. 158