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The Formation of the Energy Biosciences Institute

Narrator: This is Science Today. BP, one of world's largest energy companies, has signed a contract with the University of California, Berkeley, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of Illinois, to form the Energy Biosciences Institute, or EBI. The institute will perform groundbreaking research aimed at the production of new and cleaner energy - initially focusing on advanced biofuels for road transport. Dr. Christopher Sommerville will direct the EBI.

Sommerville: One of the things we are trying to accomplish with the EBI is to create a group of scientists and social scientists that see all aspects of the problem.

Narrator: Sommerville says that inventing technology that uses plants and their unique ability to transform sunlight to energy will have far-reaching effects for society.

Sommerville: The energy in sunlight that strikes the surface of the earth is about 10,000 times more energy than all the energy used by humans. So if we could capture just 1% of that, we would only need 5 % of the terrestrial surface to meet all human energy needs.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.