CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) _ The University of Virginia has formed a partnership to advance research on new and environmentally friendly energy sources. The partnership is with MAXNET Energy, a new initiative of Germany’s Max Planck Society. Researchers from U.Va. and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion will work collaboratively on developing processes for the clean and efficient production of energy. They’ll also work on improved energy storage and distribution systems. Research efforts will focus broadly on new methods to use solar energy to produce fuels, new materials for energy storage and new technologies for the clean conversion of natural gas. U.Va. and the Max Plank Society have each committed $2 million to jump-start the research efforts for a planned initial five-year period of collaboration.