It's no surprise that Vinod Khosla is a fan of ethanol, but he's long said that it's just a stepping stone to get us off of oil. Still, the man behind Sun Microsystems and lots of ethanol research will give the keynote address at the Algae Biomass Summit in Seattle next month. But Khosla and his venture capital are not 100 percent behind algae biofuels. He told the Wall Street Journal that, "We keep looking at algae. We've looked at one to two dozen plants, haven't yet found economics that work but still believe there is room for innovation to work and will keep looking."

That sort of negativity isn't stopping Bill Gates from investing (through his Cascades Investments LLC) in Sapphire Energy. While the WSJ admits that, "There is still significant skepticism that Sapphire, or any of its competitors, can overcome fundamental problems of mass-producing a competitive fuel from algae," the time is right for someone to figure this stuff out. Cascades Investments is one of four initial backers that have invested $25 million each in Sapphire.

[Source: Marketwatch / WSJ]

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