While reading through a few articles I came across one based on algae and its development and possible future as a biofuel. The research and development done for this project was through Sapphire Energy which has since its beginning in 2007 has over "200" patents of its "designer algae" mechanisms. The focus of the article was toward the "green" nature of algae ands its efficiency as a fuel in areas of cost and productivity. The part that really caught my attention however was the political and business portion of this green venture.
In one particular section Mayfield, one of Sapphire's founders, commented that " there are no senators for algae-growing states to go back to Congress and say, 'Stop giving money to corn and give it to algae'." This is a rather inverse affect of one of algae's positives that it can be grown virtually anywhere- that because it has no "official home" it receives little political support at the time. (Though at this time Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwomen, Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Bob Bennett (R-Utah), chairman and ranking member of the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, support algae and its development.)
Under the current writing of the House Bill toward carbon offset ventures and biofuel equivalences, algae does not yet qualify as being either. But with continual drive from such political backing and business networks the language of the bill will be rewritten in order for algae research to gain grants and other government support.
In order to strengthen its foundation Sapphire Energy has been building bridges in the world of business. Not wanting to project themselves as a competitor fuel source it has lent itself toward facilitating needs of other energy providers- such as coal burning plants. In one section it was noted that algae absorbs and fixes CO2 as part of its chemical metabolism and algae stations have thus become a factor in some power plants in reducing their carbon emissions to meet EPA standards.
For the full article click this link, it is a rather long article but I found it very interesting and gave me a better perspective on the energy issues and how politics and business interplay with new energy developments such as algae.