The Algal Biomass Organization believes that algae-based fuels will be able to compete in the market with fossil fuels by 2017 or 2018, said Mary Rosenthal, the group's executive director. However, more government support is needed to attract investments that are crucial for the industry's growth, said Dan Simon, president and CEO of algae technology firm Heliae. "It's the same as the process with ethanol back in the 2000 time frame. Until we invested in the industry we weren't driving down the production cost of ethanol from corn," Simon said.

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