Algal biofuels Impact significance and implications for EU multi-level governance

Benson, David, Kerry, Katherine and Malin, Gill (2014) Algal biofuels Impact significance and implications for EU multi-level governance. Journal of Cleaner Production, 72. pp. 4-13. ISSN 0959-6526

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Abstract

Recent years have witnessed significant worldwide growth in research into the production of algal biomass for fuel, food and food supplements, nutrient recovery from wastewater and feedstocks for chemical and pharmaceutical industries. While there appear to be considerable future benefits, especially in terms of sustainable low carbon energy biofuels, emerging evidence suggests that large-scale algal production could impose multiple negative environmental impacts. Pressing questions therefore concern the significance of these impacts and the adequacy of attendant governance arrangements in ensuring environmental protection. To examine these questions, a qualitative impact assessment methodology is utilised to review, identify and compare the significance of potential impacts from several different production scenarios. Our findings show that significance varies not only between open pond and photo bioreactor (PBR) processes but also between land-based, coastal and marine production sites. We then examine how well these impacts are currently regulated in one specific political context, namely the European Union (EU). Analysis of EU environmental governance reveals evidence of significant policy mismatches and gaps. Recommendations for the future multi-level governance of algal biofuel technologies in the EU and globally are given, along with suggestions for further scientific and policy research as part of a wider investigative agenda.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2014 20:54
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2020 23:02
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/48579
DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.02.060

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