Federal lawmakers did not foresee how soon algae-based biofuels would become a reality when granting tax incentives to other advanced biofuels businesses. Incentives reduce the risk for would-be investors, which is problematic at a time when so many algae-based startups are ready to launch commercial facilities, says Brent Erickson, executive vice president for BIO’s Industrial and Environmental Section.
A number of those demonstration sites are shown below.
Existing and planned algae production projects
Because algal biofuel developers do not qualify for existing tax incentives, it’s extremely difficult to attract investors and thus create jobs and reduce carbon emissions, Erickson says.
“Fixing this discrepancy and granting algae-based biofuels tax treatment similar to other advanced biofuels can open the way to greater job creation and economic growth,” he says.
There have been several large investments from the private sector in the last few years in order to reduce risk in algae based biofuel. Several of the companies that have been funded can be found on the industry page. I can’t think of any reason not to offer the same treatment of biofuels tax code to algae, and I hope that those people in the position to make the final decision see it the same way.
Science and technology will always move faster than policy.