The Territory is well-placed to become a national and international leader in solar energy generation and export. Evidence-based modelling and clear strategies exist to achieve this, requiring a bold and ambitious government to support a sustainable renewable energy economy.
The NT Government has a target of increasing the amount of renewable energy in the NT energy grid from 4% to 50% by 2030. Slight progress has been made with 12% renewable uptake within the grid expected by the end of 2020. A recent report, “State of Play: Renewable Energy Leaders and Losers”, ranked the Northern Territory last on renewable energy uptake.
Although transitioning the Territory’s entire 1GW energy supply to renewable will only reduce our current emissions by approximately 11%, potential exists to generate massive amounts of surplus renewable energy here, with the potential to abate emissions in South East Asia and elsewhere through export, and shifting renewable manufacturing and mineral processing onshore.
To do this, support is needed for the popular RePowerNT strategy for 100% renewables and economic growth for the Territory. Environment Centre NT and Beyond Zero Emissions are working with government and industry to make this vision a reality, but they need your support.
With Environment Centre NT, Climate Action Darwin is calling on the NT government to commit to repowering the NT with renewable energy, creating thousands of new jobs and lowering power prices. Here are five actions the next NT government can take to get the job done:
The central battery storage system approved in April 2020 for the Darwin-Katherine grid will help provide reliable power to Territorians and facilitate renewable energy. As the cost of battery storage continues to fall, it makes sense for our grid to store energy when there is an excess of electricity generation, and at other times draw on that energy.
Here in the Territory, the Government purchases roughly one-quarter of the Territory’s total energy consumption—that’s huge! It means the government is in a unique position to influence the uptake of renewable energy in the Territory. They should lead the way by using renewable energy for its own operations, provided by local NT solar companies.
A renewable energy target helps grow thousands of NT solar jobs and lower power bills in the Territory. It provides governments a firm framework within which to build complex policy, turning promises and ambition into a concrete goal. And it provides local NT solar companies with a stable set of conditions with which to operate their businesses.
By delivering the 11 recommendations and 50 enabling actions of the Roadmap to Renewables, the NT Government can deliver the renewable energy target, whilst maintaining the affordability of NT’s energy supply, and without compromising network reliability and security.
The NT needs a strategy to kickstart a clean, innovative, safe and competitive renewable hydrogen industry that creates jobs and benefits all Territorians.
What you can do: