Recently, algae have received significant interest as a potential feedstock for renewable diesel (such as biodiesel), and many researchers have attempted to quantify this potential. Some of these attempts are less useful because they have not incorporated specific values of algal lipid content, have not included processing inefficiencies, or omitted processing steps required for renewable diesel production. Furthermore, the associated energy, materials, and costs requirements are sometimes omitted. The accuracy and applicability of these estimates can be improved by using data that are more specific, including all relevant information for renewable diesel production, and by presenting information with more relevant metrics. To determine whether algae are a viable source for renewable diesel, three questions that must be answered are (1) how much renewable diesel can be produced from algae, (2) what is the financial cost of production, and (3) what is the energy ratio of production?