This excerpt taken from the BP 20-F filed Mar 4, 2008.
BP Alternative Energy, launched in November 2005, combines all of BPs interests in businesses that provide low-carbon energy solutions for power generation: solar, wind, gas-fired power generation and hydrogen power with carbon capture and storage (CCS).
We are developing a new silicon growth process named Mono2™, which significantly increases cell efficiency over traditional multicrystalline-based solar cells, making our first pilot shipment in 2007. Solar cells made with these wafers, in combination with other BP Solar advances in cell process technology, are expected to be able to produce between 5% and 8% more power than solar cells made with conventional processes. We are working with a number of research universities and institutes including the California Institute of Technology in the US where we are pursuing nanotube solar installations. This represents another step improvement in cost and efficiency. In Germany, we signed a co-operation agreement with the Institute of Crystal Growth (IKZ) in September 2006 to develop a technique to deposit silicon in very thin layers directly on glass instead of growing crystals. The programme has demonstrated this ability and work continues to improve the growth process and crystal structure. We are participating in a $40-million research and development programme (of which $20 million is provided by BP Solar) aimed at decreasing the cost of solar cells and increasing their efficiency. The programme is sponsored by the US Department of Energy.
Other businesses and corporate comprises Treasury (which includes all the groups cash, cash equivalents and associated interest income), the groups aluminium asset and corporate activities worldwide.