The US taxpayer has spent over $2.5 billion dollars on algae research over the last 50 years. To date, nothing has been commercialized at any university. The REAL question is: Does the DOE really want to get off of foreign oil or do they want to continue giving grants to algae researchers to help keep them employed at universities for another 50 years?
Algae biodiesel could provide the fuel requirements for vehicles more effectively than any other bio fuel source. The algae could be used to clean rivers and streams from nutriet loadings and wastewater treatment plants effluent nutrient loading providing increased benifits to the environment. The unsued biomass from the fuel production is easily converted into fertilizer and could be used in other industries. So where is the cons from all the pros? You need sunlight (free) you need area to grow the algae and the algae uptakes carbon dioxide (great). The only negative is the big oil companies don't have thier hands on this so they do everything to prevent its promotion! This technology was first looked into in the 1930's and Big Oil crushed it because it was a cheap alternative.