The Philippines is looking into algae as a possible biofuel substitute for jatropha due to its possible price efficiency and the fact that it wouldn’t take away from the arable lands used in growing food, according to reports.
The Senate Committee on Science and Technology has proposed the establishment of the Philippine Institute for Algae Research and Commercialization, a three-way partnership among the government, academia and the industry, to study the possibilities. “A lot of research still needs to be conducted before algal biofuels can be as cheap as fossil fuels,” said Senator Edgardo Angara, who chairs COMSTE. ”But algae are already utilized for nutraceuticals and animal feeds for their proteins and omega-3 fatty acids. We may not have to put up subsidies for algal R&D in biofuels, because a processed algae industry in the country may already be lucrative in itself.”
During Senate budget hearings, the Commission on Higher Education and the Department of Science and Technology pledged to devote funding to the creation and operations of PINARC. “Our climate is literally ripe for an algae industry,” said Angara. ”But the only way for such an industry to grow is through synergy among our government agencies, universities and private sector players.”