In the wake of my Seeking Alpha article (http://seekingalpha.com/article/207231-exxon-could-be-the-answer-to-america-s-energy-problems) on the promise of ExxonMobil’s (NYSE:XOM) project with biotech pioneer J. Craig Venter to produce bio-gasoline from algae, mega-green entrepreneur Vinod Khosla has told Bloomberg News that the Exxon project is a “pipe dream.” (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601110&sid=an_jMkuLBE68)
Is Khosla, who has his own horse in this race (Solazyme), right? Only one way to know for sure. It’s time for a no-holds-barred contest to determine who can be first to the finish line with a commercially-viable, environmentally-acceptable process for producing large quantities of gasoline refined from algae that can be used in today’s cars and trucks.
The US Department of Energy should organize and serve as judge together with a panel of experts drawn from MIT and other US universities. A cash prize of, say, $100 million could be put up by green-minded corporations such as General Electric (NYSE:GE) and Ford (NYSE:F). Of course a far bigger prize would come from the royalties the winner would enjoy in perpetuity from licensing the winning process to every refiner in the world. In addition to Khosla, Exxon, Bill Gates and other algae-backing big shots, this contest should be open to tiny algae pioneers still working in their garages.
What’s America got to lose – other than its addiction to oil?
Such a contest would give a shot in the arm to every publicly-traded company working with algae, including: Green Star Products (OTCPK:GSPI), PetroAlgae (PALG.OB), PetroSun (OTCPK:PSUD), and OriginOil (OOIL.OB).
Disclosure: No Positions