The University of Ulster will spend millions of points to establish a state-of-the-art research centre to investigate renewable sources of energy.NEWTOWNABBEY, Antrim, IE, 2001-10-08 [SolarAccess.com] Work on the development will begin this year on its Jordanstown campus, with completion by next autumn. Funding will come from the Science Research Investment Fund, and will bring together scientists from the University’s Centre for Sustainable Technologies at Jordanstown and the Northern Ireland Centre for Energy Research at the Coleraine campus. The project will move Northern Ireland into ‘cutting edge’ research into green power that will make it the envy of the rest of Europe, says Reg Empey, Minister for Enterprise Trade & Investment. His Department will make £600,000 of grants available over the next three years to support the development of both small scale demonstration generators and full commercial, locally owned generators that use wind, photovoltaics, energy crops and small hydro technology. Northern Ireland generates 1.5 percent of its electricity from renewable sources and the British government has set a target of doubling that level by 2005. Empey says 3,000 consumers in Northern Ireland have agreed to purchase green power compared to only 25,000 consumers in the whole of Britain.