The introduction of microalgae in wastewater treatment plants – Emission control and policy guidelines / Användning av mikroalger i avlopps- och reningsverk – Utsläppskontroll och riktlinjer
This article considers cost-effective environmental policy instruments supporting the adoption of microalgae cultivation by wastewater treatment plants WWTPs coupled to biogas. One problem in reaching the nutrient reduction targets suggested by the Baltic Sea Action Plan has been differences among countries on their economic ability and on their willingness to pay for abatement. Another is the policy instrument design of specific countries and sectors having ambiguous effects on reaching the environmental target. Considering that in a very local market WWTPs act as in a mixed oligopoly situation, the privatisation of public WWTPs will increase social welfare depending upon how well competitive market conditions are encouraged. Moreover, an international cross-sector market-based instrument as nutrient trading, is considered to incentivise the rate of abatement and productivity of the industry as well as the economic growth in the Baltic Sea region. The potential value-added of the microalgae in the abatement efficiency as well as in the production of biogas make WWTPs competitive in renewable energy and fertilisers in coherence with the agricultural sector. Microalgae cultivation offer environmental and social benefits simultaneously promoting the privatisation of the wastewater into a potentially competitive abatement market.