Energy, fuels and environmental policies relevant to algae production and use in NW Europe
This report could be a reference for making policies that support the commercialisation of energetic algae concepts (micro and macro algae). Algae were acknowledged in many national strategies (see Germany, Netherlands, Ireland,) as an important biomass resource for biobased economy, although there was some confusion whether energetic algae is an energy crop or a waste resource. The lack of clarity in classifying algal biomass affects how energetic algae projects and their products are supported by policies and economic instruments. An important aspect that affects whether a biomass source is favoured for energy production is the sustainability performance in a lifecycle perspective. In the EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED) sustainability criteria are described only for biofuels. In a national level, all eight countries had set criteria for environmental and social sustainability of bioenergy. For Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands, the UK,
Belgium, and Luxembourg sustainability performance was very high on their national priorities. In Germany critical eligibility criterion for government funding for advanced energy technologies was the compliance with binding sustainability criteria.
Here are the compilation of policies and economic incentives at regional policies of eight countries of the NW European region. The countries that were scoped were Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. With exception of Switzerland, the seven other countries are full members of the European Union (EU).
Policy data for the NW European region were not easily accessible, as policy documents were stored in websites of ministries or websites of national or regional government organizations e.g. funding bodies etc. Moreover, policies were typically communicated in local languages and few were available in other languages.