Will Hawaii Based Algae Fuel Primarily Be Used for the Military?

Knowing me… I’m probably reading into this completely wrong.  But it does seem a bit strange for us to be focusing so much on “alternative energy” only to just give it up to the military.

Jet fuel and other fuels made from algae are being developed in San Diego. Some of the research is being funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), part of the Department of Defense.

DARPA has provided $35 million to San Diego-based companies SAIC and General Atomics to pursue the creation of algae-based jet fuel…

Military Jet Fuel Focus:

…The DARPA money for SAIC could total up to $24 million to develop algae based military jet fuel JP-8 that costs $3 per gallon, according to an article on the Web site Earth2Tech.com

…The Web site CleanTechnica.com also noted the interest in algae fuels. It reported, “SAIC says there will be two phases to the project. The first will involve refining the technology and developing lab-scale production capabilities. The second phase will involve the construction of what SAIC calls a pre-pilot scale production facility.”

CleanTechnica.com also stated, “SAIC will do the work at company facilities in Georgia, Florida, Hawaii and Texas. The company will work with a team of industrial and academic partners.”

Here is a recent CleanTechnica article on the Maui Algae Plant.

…While a number of factors still need to be put in place before the first phase of the program can begin, the anticipated start date could be as early as 2011…

However, it appears to me, that it was sold to the State as something else:

This innovative partnership can help move Hawaii one step closer to securing energy independence and achieving our goal of having 70 percent of Hawaiis energy come from clean sources by 2030, said Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle”…

Maui Algae Plant

Maui Algae Plant

One Response

  1. A lot of government research is money is funneled through DARPA due to different rules than agencies like NSF, research that often benefits more than the military. The research there is focused more on practical applications rather than theoretical stuff.

    The internet technologies we are using right now came out of DARPA.

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