Report: algae-based biofuels to reach 61 million gallons by 2020

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Despite a series of stumbles and changed directions along the road to commercialization, the market for algae-based biofuels will take advantage of strong underlying drivers to reach 61 million gallons per year by 2020, according to a recent report by Pike Research (Boulder, CO). The inevitable resurgence of oil prices, volatility in the energy markets, and expansion of climate change policy and legislation will combine with algae’s productivity and scalability to yield a $1.3 billion market a decade from now, the report concluded. “Although the algae-based biofuels market will grow rapidly once key cost hurdles are overcome, widespread scale-up will be hampered by a number of difficult challenges, including access to nutrients, water, and private capital,” said Pike Research President Clint Wheelock. Biofuels Digest characterized the Pike Research report as on the “bearish” side of recent market projections, basing its findings in part on the projected commercialization failures of companies like Solazyme, Algenol, and Sapphire Energy.

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