What is Taking Algae Biofuels So Long?

Producing biofuels from algae is a concept dating back to the oil shocks of the 1970s. At the time, the US Government created an algae research program which analyzed the thousands of strains of algae in hope of offsetting the shortage of fossil fuels. In 1996, the Department of Energy shut down the program, concluding that algal biofuels could not compete with fossil fuels in cost. One decade later, President Bush declared that the US was addicted to oil. After that, the algae research program was started again, and capital began flowing into dozens of algae startups. So where is all the algae biofuel? Where is the “green crude” that was hyped up with so much potential? The answer is the same now as it was in 1996. Algae biofuel is expensive to produce and fossil fuel prices are still sufficiently low-cost.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *