"the mission of the new Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy, which is intended to finance high-risk, high-reward projects. It can be compared to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, part of the Pentagon, which spread seed money for projects and incubated a variety of useful technologies, including the Internet.
The goal of this agency, whose budget is $400 million for two years, is to realize profound results ? such as tens of millions of motor vehicles that would run 300 miles a day on electricity from clean sources or on liquid fuels from trees and garbage."
More via the New York Times