A new report on the potential of clean fuels on the West Coast of the US and Canada concludes that low-carbon fuels could replace over a quarter of gasoline and diesel used in the region.
Researchers at the International Council on Clean Transportation and E4Tech examined the availability of a variety of clean fuels over the next couple of decades to draw their conclusions, but we at ABO think one oversight might mean they have underestimated their conclusions.
Rapidly advancing algae technology is one promising pathway that was not included in the report’s many scenarios for deploying clean fuels in California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.
The fact is, algae have advantages over many of the advanced biofuels the researchers did consider. Given the ability of algae to grow without the need for freshwater or valuable farmland, and their ability to absorb CO2 from industrial sources, we are betting fuel derived from algae can be a breakthrough that allows carbon reductions even steeper than those examined in this report.
With enormous yields possible with algal fuels, and the fact they can provide CO2 reductions of 60-80% when compared with gasoline, we may not have a problem exceeding the 14-21% reductions in regional carbon intensity the report identifies as achievable by 2030. Perhaps we should be aiming even higher?