California's clean energy move boosted by huge grant 2007-02-02 06:34:41

    LOS ANGELES, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- California's clean energy move was boosted after the University of California in Berkeley (UCB) received a 500-million-dollar grant on Thursday to establish the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI).

    Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that the UCB received the grant from BP company to establish the EBI after winning a fierce competition among research institutions around the world for this prestigious grant.

    The UCB will partner with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on this groundbreaking project, the governor said in a statement e-mailed to Xinhua.

    Announcing the grant, Schwarzenegger was joined by Governor RodBlagojevich of Illinois, Robert C. Dynes, President of the University of California, Robert A. Malone, Chairman and President of BP America, and other state and university officials.

    "I can't tell you how excited I am that BP has chosen UC Berkeley and California for its new 500 million dollars Energy Biosciences Institute," said Schwarzenegger.

    "I'm proud that the private sector has once again recognized the world-class stature of the University of California and our state's unshakable commitment to transforming to a clean energy future in an economy-boosting manner. This is a perfect complement to our new low-carbon fuel standard which will more than triple alternative fuel demand in California by 2020, and with research facilities like the Energy Biosciences Institute, California will continue to be the leader in the cleantech industry."

    EBI is the first public-private research lab dedicated to renewable fuels and clean energy. Last month, the governor included 40 million dollars in lease revenue bonds for the EBI in his 2007-08 budget, demonstrating California's commitment to keeping the University of California system at the forefront of research and innovation.

    The governor's EBI funding proposal was a major factor in BP's decision to select the UCB and formed part of the Governor's Research and Innovation Initiative announced on December 27, 2006 that provides funding for key innovation sectors, including cleantech, biotech and nanotech.

    Other parts of the initiative include 30 million dollars in lease revenue bonds for the Helios Project, 19.8 million dollars in annual operating cost funds for the California Institutes for Science and Innovation, and the first 5-million-dollar increment in state matching funds to enhance the University of California's bid to build a 200-million-dollar Petascale computer.

    Also, the governor and administration officials met or spoke with BP executives on many occasions over the last several months to discuss the 500-million-dollar grant proposal.

    Last month, Governor Schwarzenegger established the world's first low carbon standard (LCFS) for transportation fuels that requires fuel providers to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels sold in California.

    Yesterday the European Union followed with a similar directive.This first-of-its kind standard firmly establishes sustainable demand for lower-carbon fuels but without favoring one fuel or another. Fuel providers can meet the LCFS through a variety of means, including producing and selling cleaner-burning fuels such as those to be researched and developed by EBI.

    Last September, Schwarzenegger signed the Global Warming Solutions Action of 2006, California's landmark bill that established a first-in-the-world comprehensive program of regulatory and market mechanisms to achieve real, quantifiable, cost-effective reductions of greenhouse gases. Like the bill, the LCFS relies on market-based mechanisms to reduce emissions at the lowest cost and in the most consumer-friendly ways.

Editor: Luan Shanglin
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