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
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.
|Place of Publication||Espoo|
|Publisher||VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland|
|Number of pages||38|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|
|MoE publication type||Not Eligible|