The Environment Centre NT has launched their Repower NT: 10-Point Plan. The plan sets out ten actions for the NT Government to repower the NT with renewable energy, creating thousands of new jobs and lowering power prices.
Repower NT Manager Monica Tan says, “By executing the 10-Point Plan, the NT Government can capture an incredible opportunity to turn NT's abundance of solar resources into jobs, drive economic growth and secure affordable energy for all Territorian communities.”
At the top of the plan is delivering the 50% renewable energy target by 2030. “A renewable energy target is vital to driving the growth of renewable energy in the Territory. It provides governments a firm framework within which to build complex policy, turning promises and ambition into a concrete goal," says Tan.
Delivering that target requires completing the 11 recommendations and 50 enabling actions of the Roadmap to Renewables, a 2017 report authored by an independent expert panel. "If the NT Government is truly committed to delivering the renewable energy target we need to see much faster completion of the steps in the Roadmap to Renewables than what we’ve seen so far," says Tan.
Other key asks include solar for all new government buildings including social and affordable housing, a feasibility study of an HVDC transmission line between Darwin and Alice Springs, a community renewables program to support solar in regional and remote NT and the introduction of a time-of-use tariff.
The plan also calls for a major new strategy to establish the NT as the Renewable Energy Territory, endorsing renewables as a whole-of-government initiative and placing it as a central pillar of the NT’s economic policy.
Tan says, "Our report The 10 Gigawatt Vision, written in conjunction with Beyond Zero Emissions, showed that by 2030, the NT Government could help drive investment in 10 gigawatts of renewables, creating over 8,000 new jobs and over $2 billion in revenue. An ambitious renewables strategy can spark a vibrant manufacturing sector in the Territory, with export opportunities in energy infrastructure, zero-carbon electrified manufacturing and minerals processing."
The Renewable Energy Territory would include a clean, innovative, safe and competitive renewable hydrogen industry, beginning with a renewable hydrogen pilot plant.
The 10 Gigawatt Vision showed that with smart policy support, a large proportion of renewable energy infrastructure can be manufactured in NT. Manufacturers aiming to establish their sustainability credentials will be attracted to the NT’s abundance of affordable, clean energy.
Tan says, "Up to a third of renewable energy jobs could be in manufacturing. For example, one of the biggest potential employers is battery manufacturing, with further opportunities from making transmission components. In return for underwriting renewable energy development, the NT government should require local production of equipment to drive NT manufacturing."
The 10-Point Plan was developed in conjunction with renewable energy experts in the Northern Territory, local solar installers and other environmental and community groups.
Several of the asks were also developed from work at a recent Climate Justice Forum. More than 100 delegates from across the Northern Territory gathered in Mparntwe (Alice Springs) for the forum to commit to transformative actions that respond to the climate crisis and create a just and sustainable future for our communities.
A full list of the 10 point-plan has been included below. Here is a more detailed explanation of the plan.
Deliver the 50% renewable energy target by 2030
Solar for all new NTG Buildings, including social and affordable housing
A feasibility study of an HVDC transmission line between Darwin and Alice Springs
Community renewables program to support solar in regional and remote NT
Establish NT as a Renewable Energy Territory and a renewable hydrogen pilot plant
Set a local content target for all large-scale renewable energy projects to drive NT manufacturing
Review training programs to grow skills of the local labour force
Introduce a time-of-use tariff
Establish an ancillary services market
Initiate a reverse auction process for renewable energy power purchase agreements