Oil giant Exxon Mobil Corporation announced Tuesday it will invest more than $600 million to develop biofuels from photosynthetic algae at a large scale.

Exxon will partner for research and development of the biofuel with Synthetic Genomics Inc., a biotech company to which Exxon will give potentially more than $300 million from the investment, the oil firm said in a statement. Through the alliance the companies will attempt to produce large volumes of the next generation biofuel.

Algae-based fuels could help meet the world's growing demand for transportation fuel while reducing greenhouse gas emissions,' said Michael Dolan, senior vice president of ExxonMobil in a statement today.

Exxon's announcement today is significant because it has showed skepticism in the past about clean energy technologies such as wind, solar and including biofuels. The oil giant has also backed research that puts questions if climate change is a man-made phenomenon.