Latest Issue

An answer to the oil crisis?

Single-cell organisms living in oceans and ponds could provide a fresh new source of energy

By Philip Hunter   July 2010

Ocean bound: could harnessing the energy produced by algae cure the world of its oil dependency?

The environmental disaster caused by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has underscored our urgent need for alternative energy sources. But existing ones—like wind, wave and solar—all have their drawbacks, while nuclear fusion remains stillborn despite its long-term promise of almost unlimited power. For a while there was hope that converting biomass from crops such as corn and sugarbeet would make a serious dent in fossil fuel consumption, but this is likely to remain a marginal solution since it would take too much land…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect