The Country Liberal Party have released an energy policy that includes developing solar, launching a hydrogen export pilot program and connecting the Territory's grids to the main grid on the East Coast.
The Environment Centre NT commends the party for showing strong support for renewable energy in this policy and at a press conference held by the party, Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro stated the party is committed to both the current government’s 50% renewable energy target by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050.
And while we’re disappointed not to see an explicit commitment to this in the party policy document we expect the party to honour the Opposition Leader’s word in the coming term of government.
As Australia’s energy systems upgrade to renewables, the adequate rollout of a fast, modern and efficient network remains one of our country's greatest energy challenges. We commend the Country Liberal Party for committing to investigating expanding the Territory’s energy corridors. Doing so means we can link up energy-intensive industries with large new renewable energy zones from right across the Territory – and possibly the rest of the country.
We also support the party’s intention to launch a commercial hydrogen export pilot program. In our own report The 10 Gigawatt Vision, we showed that if by 2030 the Territory invested in a 5.5 gigawatts renewable hydrogen industry this would produce nearly 4,000 direct and indirect new jobs and $590 million in direct economic contribution.
However, we question the party’s assumption gas will play a strong role in a Territorian hydrogen industry for export. The growing overseas appetite for hydrogen is being driven by global efforts to decarbonise. In particular, countries such as Japan and South Korea are committed to phasing out fossil fuels but lacking in adequate local renewable energy resources are turning to renewable energy-rich countries, such as Australia, to provide them zero-emissions alternatives. If they had long-term interest in hydrogen from fossil fuels, they could make it themselves from gas they already import.
The strongest business case lies in a “renewable hydrogen” industry, that is, hydrogen manufacturing powered by the Territory’s abundant solar resources – not using fossil fuels.
Read the full CLP energy policy.
Learn about how renewable hydrogen is set to transform the NT.