Need to FAST TRACK our research on this! I think this maybe something I maybe involved in for a couple of years!
The pressing question, then, remains: What’s going to replace oil?
Let’s draw up a specification for the ideal replacement. We’d like a fuel with the energy density of oil, or better. We’d like the only per-unit cost to be sunlight, because that’s the only thing that’s 100% renewable and (unlike tidal, hydropower, and geothermal) available everywhere. Ideally, we’d like the stuff to not require a huge, expensive conversion job on our energy infrastructure.
Happily, I think this spec can be filled. There are demonstration plants making synthetic oil from algae at a per-unit cost not far above that of oil, and plenty of venture capital looking to fund more. As this technology scales up, algal-synfuel costs will drop below that of oil. At that point, the free market will have solved the problem.