The future of algae production will be determined by the size of the market it serves. Several initiatives are underway to support a strong marketplace for algae fuels in the hopes that this will accelerate true commercial production.
One of the earliest large markets for algae biofuels has been the US military. The US Navy is building a “Green Fleet” that will need domestically-produced biofuels, and the Departments of Energy, Agriculture, and US Navy are plowing $510 billion over three years into research and commercial production efforts.
Beside fuel, demand for other algae-derived products is growing as well. In 2010 only 9-13 percent of chemical sales were bio-based, a segment that is expected to grow to 22-28 percent of total chemical sales by 2025.That translates in to a market size of $483-$614 billion.
But the big market will always be fuel. And the upshot for algae here is that fossil fuel prices have been on the rise for decades, with no let-up in sight.
Industry snapshot with Mary Rosenthal, ED, Algal Biomass Organization
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