World Health Energy Holdings (WHEN.PK), a US-Israeli company commercializing algae-based biodiesel, has plans for two projects in India this year, and is targeting over $200 million in sales in 2013, reports Reuters.
One project targets $150 million in sales of biodiesel and food for commerical fish farms from 250 acres of algae. India-based Prime, which provides transportation services to the oil industry, is funding the project for a 70% equity stake.
Another project targets $35 million in revenue from a 45-acre algae farm.
WHEN says both projects will be operational in mid-2013 and is talking with utilities in South Africa and Italy, as well as the U.S. Navy on similar projects.
The company has completed a pilot project in Israel and sold small amounts of algae to the pharmaceutical industry there.
WHEN has found a way to cut the cost of producing algae oil 95%, CEO Chaim Lieberman told Reuters. "When we scale up the project we will reach $50 a barrel," he says, down from $2000 a barrel 11 years ago when WHEN started.
Part of what reduces the cost is a wave machine that keeps the algae moving and plastic sleeves that maintain a closed environment. It uses non-arable land or recycled water to grow algae, and produces 180 times the amount of fuel as corn or soy on the same land.
Oris Investments, a clean tech venture fund, is backing WHEN with $1.5 million, along with several private investors.
India's Five-Year Plan
The working group developing India's 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-2017) says the government intends to spend $44.6 billion on its various missions, such as its National Solar Mission.
Government is already spending 2.5% of GDP on climate change adaptation, they say and plans to invest heavily in helping its largest industry - agriculture - become more resilient.
Renewable energy investments reached $10.3 billion
in 2011, 52% higher than the $6.8 billion invested in 2010, the highest growth of any significant economy in the world.
India now accounts for 4% of global investment in clean energy.