Not there yet
Today, costs are sky-high compared to fossil fuels (Rupprecht, 2009). Any other technique than open ponds does not seem to have a chance to compete (Sheehan et al., 1998). However, there are a lot of external costs that are not included in the price of fossil fuel that might change the balance. This is called internalization of external costs and is important as support for both political and corporate decisions (Rafaj & Kypreos, 2003). One example of an external cost is floods or draught that will increase due to global warming. Caused, but not priced, by fossil fuels.
Future research includes identifying the best algal strain, developing nutrient protocols for growth and to find cost efficient harvesting and extraction methods (Pipe, 2010). The fuel industry needs cheap, pure, large and scalable solutions that do not exist today (Børresen, 2010).
Written by Per Hedegård 15:th June 2011 03:23