As I write in Tuesday’s Times, a new study from the Rand Corporation, the global policy think tank based in Santa Monica, Calif., and formed more than 60 years ago to advise the American government on military issues, suggests that Department of Defense is wasting its time exploring alternative fuels.
It raised particular questions about the near-term viability of algae-based fuels, which the study’s authors considered to be more or less laboratory-level stuff — and certainly not likely to scale up to any significant extent in the next 10 years.
Given that the military has gone to great lengths to publicize its ongoing efforts to go green, and in particular, algae-green, the report did not sit well with with everyone.
“We’ve talked to the companies working on algae-based fuels,” said Tom Hicks, the deputy assistant secretary for energy with the United States Navy. “We’ve also talked to private equity firms, venture capital firms — we have a good understanding of what’s happening in the marketplace.”