GREEN

When Will Algae Fuel Be Cheap Enough?

01/09/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Algae have gotten short shrift in the decade or so since the Clinton administration axed its research funding at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. But could these tiny, ubiquitous plants, which come in a rainbow of colors and varieties, get us off of foreign oil some day?

"One of the big challenges -- price, price, price," said Michael Webber, a professor at the University of Texas. Right now, he said, algae could make fuel for around $10 a gallon, whereas the objective is to get the price down to $1.

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