Algae-Based Biofuels Production to Reach 61 Million Gallons per Year by 2020

October 27, 2010

In the face of petroleum scarcity, increasing oil prices, market volatility, and climate change, leaders in government and industry are looking to renewable fuel sources such as algae-based biofuels to reduce expenses and mitigate their acute vulnerability to petroleum supply chains.  Yielding 2 to 20 times more oil per acre than leading oilseed crops, algae’s productivity and scalability are seen as its greatest advantages, and a number of key industry players are gearing up their operations to meet the opportunity.  Algae biofuels have the added advantage of utilizing non food-based feedstock, with the abilities to grow on non-arable land and utilize a wide variety of water resources including wastewater and seawater.

According to a new report from Pike Research, algae biofuels production will grow rapidly over the next decade, reaching 61 million gallons per year and a market value of $1.3 billion by 2020.  While barely a drop in the bucket for biofuels, this represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 72%, roughly on par with early development in the biodiesel industry.

“On paper, algae could displace worldwide petroleum use altogether, however, the industry has yet to produce a drop of oil for commercial production,” says Pike Research president Clint Wheelock.  “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.”  Wheelock adds that with the cost of production still a key obstacle to widespread production, many companies are refocusing production efforts on low-volume, high-value co-products to develop revenue streams over the next decade.

Pike Research anticipates that, with 50% of all algae activity, the United States is poised to ramp up production the earliest among world markets.  Pilot- and demonstration-scale facilities are beginning to break ground across the country.  The European Union (EU) market, which is home to about 30% of algae activity, will be limited initially by the industry’s focus on university research, and later by insufficient access to water, land, and nutrient sources.  Latin America and Asia Pacific, which are home to fewer projects in operation today, are set to gain significant market share in the long run.

Pike Research’s study, “Algae-Based Biofuels”, examines the key growth drivers behind the algae-based biofuels market and outlines unresolved supply challenges.   It compares advantages and disadvantages of algae production pathways, leading cultivation technologies, and end-market opportunities.  The report includes detailed 10-year market forecasts, segmented by world region, along with analysis of market conditions in key countries and profiles of key industry players that are shaping the emerging algae biofuels business.  An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.

Pike Research is a market research and consulting firm that provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets.  The company’s research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Clean Transportation, Clean Industry, and Building Efficiency sectors.  For more information, visit www.navigantresearch.com or call +1.303.997.4619.

 

Register to Receive Updates

Sign up or login to receive free newsletters, research updates, access to webinars, and other analyst content from Navigant Research.

Research News

Rss
Spending on Smart Grid Technologies Will Total Nearly $600 Billion From 2014 through 2023
August 20, 2014Intelligence is being distributed to the edges of the grid, report finds • The fundamental technology for infusing intelligence into the power grid has been in existence…
Read More »
Investment in Microgrids in Asia Pacific Will Total Nearly $31 Billion from 2014 to 2023
August 19, 2014Remote systems represent the most attractive microgrid sector in the region, report concludes • Demand for electricity and generation capacity from renewable energy sources is growing at an…
Read More »
LED Luminaire Revenue for Outdoor and Parking Applications Will Reach $1.4 Billion Annually by 2021
August 18, 2014Revenue expected to gradually decline after 2021, report concludes • Outdoor lighting systems are in the early stages of a transition from fluorescent, high-pressure…
Read More »
Investment in High Voltage Transmission Systems Will Exceed $250 Billion from 2014 to 2023
August 14, 2014Major expansions to transmission systems are happening in all regions of the world, report finds • The dramatic expansion of high-voltage transmission systems (HVTSs) occurring today in Asia Pacific, Latin…
Read More »
View All News

{"userID":"","pageName":"Algae-Based Biofuels Production to Reach 61 Million Gallons per Year by 2020","path":"\/newsroom\/algae-based-biofuels-production-to-reach-61-million-gallons-per-year-by-2020","date":"8\/20\/2014"}