EurActiv - Letters to the Editor

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Sir, Producing bio-fuels from microalgae oil has recently been proposed as a renewable, carbon neutral alternative to fossil-based transportation fuels. The excessive commercial and political interest in sustainable sources for transportation fuels from renewables is creating new opportunities, but also new challenges for industrial algae producers. As a result of their biochemical and morphological diversity,… » read more

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Sir, Regarding ‘Governments want research funding at heart of innovation plan‘: European research ministers are right to insist upon research funding to drive the EU’s innovation policy, but there is an additional side-benefit worth mentioning: retention of research academics. A recent survey of 1,800 EU academics completed at the Vienna University of Economics and Business… » read more

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Sir, Regarding ‘Regional ‘stars’ rewarded for innovative projects‘: The EU’s integrated ‘innovation chain’ has never been complete and therefore will never work. For if we have a broken link in any connected chain or necklace, it will always inextricably fall to the ground. The only way to fix that link is to connect the two… » read more

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Sir, Regarding ‘Brussels pushes for electric cars‘: Eurobat, the association of European storage battery manufacturers, supports the main themes of the Commission’s communication of 28 April 2010 on clean and efficient vehicles. Our members represent all major manufacturers and are up to the challenge to serve this fast growing market. They will continue to contribute… » read more

Posted by Andreas

Sir, Regarding ‘Electric cars push needs’careful thinking’‘ The discussion about electric cars is very narrow. Many people around the world question the Western lifestyle, with its huge mobility and huge consumption of energy, including fuel for the transport sector. Any action should start with questioning transport ‘needs’ and look at how we can maintain essential… » read more

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Sir, Regarding ‘Finance ministers want 3% R&D target ditched‘: The 3% is an easily memorable and therefore useful political target. However, we must look at its practical implications in a more careful and nuanced way. Simply to claim that a country with high R&D spending will become more competitive than another with lower spending (both… » read more

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Sir, Regarding ‘Greens embrace enzymes in climate change fight‘: This is a serious issue and is much like that of genetically-modified organisms. Using enzymes to disrupt biomass is tantamount to opening up the proverbial ‘Pandora’s box”. You do not know the consequences and you do not know where it will end. It is all very… » read more

Posted by Andreas

Sir, Regarding ‘Algae: The ultimate biofuel‘: Because microalgae can, in principle, be easily and quickly propagated, these organisms have been the focus of applied research investigating the generation of valuable biomass. Decisive factors in the rising intersts for algae include its ability to accommodate large quantities of lipids under certain circumstances, and the possibility to… » read more

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No competition for land?

Sir, Regarding ‘Algae: The ultimate biofuel‘: Your section headed “no competition for land” ends by describing algae as “ending the potential for conflict with food production which comes with increased energy crop cultivation”. We’d all like this to work, but let’s not get carried away. If this could work profitably there would be the incentive… » read more

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Risk assessment and politics

Sir, Regarding ‘EU policymaking: Rooted in science?‘: I really do think that politicians will arguably look to their interests in winning votes before anything else. We can sadly translate this into he who better lobbies or markets his ideas the right way will decide the future (although this is unproven). The ‘precautionary principle’ adds to… » read more

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