Industry: Size, Growth Projections, Global Competition
How big is the algae industry? How many companies are involved?
There are hundreds of companies, government entities and scientists actively working both in the US and around the world to make biofuels and other products from algae.
In the United States alone, there are more than 50 research institutions and 100 companies working on algae technologies across the value chain.
These companies and institutions are doing everything from identifying and optimizing specific strains of algae, to developing growth systems and refining technologies, to farming large quantities of algae and producing fuel.
Where are they?
Algae-based technologies are being developed on every continent except for Antarctica, and in more than 30 countries around the world.
In the United States alone, there are over 50 research institutions and 100 companies working on algae technologies across the value chain in nearly every state.
Who is investing money in algae, and why?
There are a number of prominent venture capitalists, foundations, private equity firms and strategic partners investing in the algae technologies. It is a trillion dollar market, and smart investors with a long-term view see the potential for algae-based energy solutions to drive significant returns on their investment.
Recently, large oil and energy companies have increased funding of algae biofuels.
How much has been invested in the industry to date?
In the United States, more than $1 billion has been invested by the federal government and private investors in the algae industry.
Is the algae industry really a source of jobs?
Yes. With all the different products that can come from algae—food, fuels, feed and biochemicals—the industry could employ more than 220,000 skilled workers by 2022 according to a report by the Algal Biomass Organization.
Currently, there is algae industry activity in at nearly every state in the US, at more than 60 universities and research institutions. The industry directly and indirectly employs more than 20,000 thousand workers at approximately 100 companies.
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