Editor’s Note: This is a guest contribution from Adam Shake.
Bill Gates has his hands in the green again, but this time, it’s algae. His Investment Firm, Cascades Investments LLC, along with the Rockefeller family’s venture capital firm Venrock, the WellcomeTrust, and Arch Venture Partners have invested a total of 100 million dollars in Sapphire Energy.
Sapphire Energy, a San Diego based company that launched in May of 2007, says that it’s goal “is to be the world’s leading producer of renewable petrochemical products.” The companies website goes on to say “Critically important, there is no ‘food vs. fuel’ tradeoff. The process is not dependent on crops or valuable farmland. It is highly water efficient, delivering 10 to 100 times more energy per acre than cropland biofuels.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, “Sapphire is working towards a 10,000-barrel-a-day algae-based oil facility, and can now concentrate on production and engineering problems. Meanwhile, Gates’s involvement may signal a broader interest in alternative biofuels.”
Does all this Investment and Media attention mean that people are finally starting to realize that there is money to be made with alternative fuel sources? Could we be on the verge of lessening our fossil fuel addiction?
Investment companies are in the business of making money, and any time they can make money and a positive statement at the same time, it’s a double bonus for them. By “investing” in this “Green Crude” technology, they are helping finance the infrastructure that will give companies like Sapphire Energy, the ability to lower their start-up costs and facilitate the business of creating the fuel and getting it to market. This scenario makes the investment company money, the energy company money, helps weaken our addiction to oil and helps the environment all at the same time.
As always, keep up the good fight, and Alter the Eco!
Image Credit: Barnaby Jeans