From: Riggs Eckelberry
Los Angeles, November 1, 2011
Have you noticed that oil prices are up again? Here's a report in a Lexington, Mass newspaper:
This season could be especially bitter for home heating oil customers, because even as the mercury continues to drop, oil prices continue to rise.
"Like frogs in water coming to a slow boil"
Four dollar gasoline is now common here in Los Angeles. Wasn't it just three years ago that $4.50 gas helped to bring on a recession?
Syndicated blogger Elisa Wood says that's no coincidence (article):
In my two decades writing about energy, this is one of the most poignant facts I’ve run across: Oil price spikes preceded 10 of our 11 last recessions. This statistic portrays in a nutshell the grip that petroleum holds on us.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not letting the banks off the hook. But by focusing so much passion on the banks in casting blame for today’s economic downturn, is Occupy Wall Street letting a major culprit slink off unnoticed down the alley?
But, she says, there's a silver lining:
...When oil prices are high, the innovators emerge. And that’s what is happening today. Over the last few months I’ve run into some pretty intriguing – possibly game changing – new energy technologies. Here are a few.
This week I interviewed Riggs Eckelberry, CEO of OriginOil, a company that has found a highly efficient way to harvest algae and extract its oil, a process that takes advantage of algae’s sensitivity to electrical fields. The approach promises to save both energy and water in processing algae.
As Eckelberry puts it, algae is a renewable “petroleum that is being made fresh instead of fossilized.” He sees algae becoming an important part of the energy mix in the short-term and a serious competitor to petroleum in the long term.
I hate to say it, but it's true:
High petroleum prices are great news for biofuels, especially for a fuel that can really replace petroleum — because it is petroleum: algae.
US Navy Expands Algae Biofuel Testing at Sea and in the Air
The Department of Defense agrees. Here's a report from TPMIdeaLab:
Earlier this year, the Navy successfully tested a 50-50 algae aviation biofuel blend on a Seahawk helicopter in flight, and now an algae biodiesel blend has passed muster during tests on a 135-foot landing vessel…
...tests show that an algae biofuel blend can be used as a drop-in replacement for conventional fuel, without the need for any modifications to the engine, fuel tanks or exhaust system…
One of the immediate goals is to create a seagoing “Green Strike Group” ready for demonstration by 2012… After the Green Strike Group is tested, the next step for the Navy is to sail a “Great Green Fleet.”
So the demand is there. Our job is to meet it!
Enjoy the rest of your week.
Riggs and team
President & CEO
OriginOil, Inc. (OOIL)
OriginOil's First Production Unit (watch slideshow)