Research into microalgae as a feedstock for biofuels continues to increase because of the inherent potential advantages it holds over traditional terrestrial feedstocks. However, the true near-term large-scale productivity of microalgae remains uncertain. This study integrates a large-scale, outdoor growth model with historical meteorological data from 4,388 global locations to estimate the current near-term lipid and biomass productivity potential from microalgae cultivated in a photobioreactor architecture. A scalability assessment that leverages geographic information systems data to evaluate the current productivity potential from microalgae with global fuel consumption and land availability shows that microalgae can have a positive impact on the transportation energy portfolios of various countries.