Berkeley’s biofuels research gets $10m extra

University of California, Berkeley, has won a further $10m from the Federal government to research biofuels, according to Deepti Arora in the Daily Californian, which says:

A group headed by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory received an extra $10 million Monday to jump-start research on biofuels at a center established in July with a $125 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The Berkeley lab is working with a number of research institutions at a facility in Emeryville to develop affordable biofuels. It is one of three groups throughout the country to receive the federal grant to further research of alternative fuel sources.

It adds

The Bay Area center has now received a total of $135 million from the energy department, as part of an effort to produce cost-competitive cellulosic ethanol by 2012.

The federal grant followed a $500 million award to the UC Berkeley campus from oil company BP announced in February, which will establish a bioenergy research facility at the Berkeley lab.

It looks like BP made a good bet funding research at Berkeley rather than London’s Imperial College, which I think was also in the running for BP funding. While there is no doubt about the intellectual calibre of the staff at Imperial, it is hard to imagine the UK government, or European Union being as generous with additional support. But then, neither have to stop a president getting egg over his face, if 35 Billion Gallons Of Renewable And Alternative Fuels In 2017 don’t materialise.

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