Cost-effectiveness analysis of algae energy production in the EU
Today's society relies heavily on fossil fuels as a main energy source. Global energy demand increase, energy security and climate change are the main drivers of the transition towards alternative energy sources. This paper analyses algal biodiesel production for the EU road transportation and compares it to the fossil fuels and 1st generation biofuels. A cost-effectiveness analysis was used to aggregate private and external costs and derive the social cost of each fuel. The following externalities were internalized: emissions (GHG and non-GHG), food prices impact, pesticides/fertilizers use and security of supply. Currently the social cost of producing algal biodiesel at 52.3Â [euro]Â GJ-1 is higher than rapeseed biodiesel (36.0Â [euro]Â GJ-1) and fossil fuels (15.8Â [euro]Â GJ-1). Biotechnology development, high crude oil prices and high carbon value are the key features of the scenario where algal biodiesel outcompetes all other fuels. A substantial investment into the biotechnology sector and comprehensive environmental research and policy are required to make that scenario a reality.
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