2015 Algae Industry Survey: Full Speed Ahead

March, 11 / 2015

ABO’s 2015 survey of the algae industry shows high expectations for continued growth in the sector as well as increased production of a wide range of algae-derived products. Despite low gas prices and uncertainty in Washington, DC the members of the Algae Biomass Organization are moving full speed ahead to commercialize algae as a new source of sustainable products.

As in the previous three annual surveys, respondents this year continued their optimism that algae-derived fuels are likely to be price competitive with fossil fuels by 2020 (75 percent agreement); that algae based feeds will be commercially available by 2020 (97 percent agreement); and that algae-based plastics and chemicals will be commercially available in the same timeframe (93 percent agreement).

A majority of producers reported plans to increase production capacity (70 percent agreement); and many expect positive hiring trends through 2015 and beyond.

Other key findings of the survey included:

  • The algae industry supports a wide variety of jobs across the United States. Respondents reported holding all types of positions in their organizations including executives, scientists and researchers, operations or production positions, finance, students and professors.
  • Significant job growth is projected by 2020, with the percentage of employers with 51-100 employees expected to continue to increase and the percentage of employers that expect 101-500 employees expected to increase eightfold.
  • Congressional engagement is high—68 percent of respondents’ organizations either have met with or plan to meet with legislators, and more than half of ABO members reported having elected officials tour their facilities.
  • Forty-six percent of producers project the cost of algae-based fuel to be less than $3.00 per gallon and more than 91 percent project the cost to be less than $5.00 per gallon by 2020.

Check out our slide deck of the findings:

An executive summary of the survey’s results is available at:
http://algaebiomass.org/resource-center/references/industry-statistics/