Saturday, March 8, 2008

Our First Sighting of an Algae Farm

I’ve been waiting a long time for this. While I’ve been following the progress of a few companies exploring the process of algae farming to produce fuel oil, the apparent leader (not the company in the video) in getting into commercial algae oil production has, so far, not revealed how they will do it. Whatever method they are using, they have announced plans to build an algae farm in Coolidge, AZ which will produce 30 million gallons of algae oil per year. Maybe they will do something like what is shown in this video. I hope, whatever they do, that it is wise and sustainable. We need this algae oil, so we don’t have to devote crop land to growing fuel, don’t have to keep fighting wars in the Middle East, don’t have to build a whole bunch of nuclear power plants with no plans for the waste material.

Meanwhile, let’s keep a watch on the company in the video too. Really, it doesn’t matter who does it as long as somebody out there demonstrates that money can be made by growing algae crude oil.

Ironically, this war thatRupert Murdoch said would lower oil prices, that Alan Greenspan has said is largely about oil, has raised oil prices and spurred interest in alternative energy which could possibly spell the end of the domination of energy markets by the traditional oil companies. On the other hand, Shell and Chevron are starting experimental algae farms. Shell's open air pond experiment will take two years to show its results. I have a feeling they're behind already.

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