It’s clear – renewables is one of the most talked-about issues of the 2020 NT election.
Over the weekend the NT News asked four of the Territory’s top political leaders for their views on energy and we counted 52 positive mentions of renewables and only 3 of gas. This is the first time we’ve seen across-the-board, bipartisan support for renewable energy in an NT election.
That includes commitments to our current renewable energy target of 50% by 2030. Although we did not see this commitment in every party’s policy document, we were provided written commitments and live at the recorded NTCOSS leaders debate.
We’ve summarised the renewables commitments from each party below so you can make up your own mind about who to vote for, as well as a link to each party’s detailed policy.
Country Liberal Party
The CLP released an energy policy that includes developing solar and exploring connecting the Territory's grids to the main grid on the East Coast. Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro MLA also said they would "allow Territory Generation to invest in renewable energy". Territory Generation is the NT’s government-owned power producer that's mainly in the business of gas.
Territory Alliance proposed a Renewables Taskforce, to be chaired by the Chief Minister, that would help make renewables a top government priority. They also proposed investing in $10 million over the forward estimates to a Battery Storage Subsidy Program and $10 million towards the establishment of a $50 million renewables investment fund for NT homelands.
We have seen a preview of Labor’s policy which includes installing solar photovoltaic and battery energy storage setups across ten remote communities, developing training and workforce plans for the renewables industry, and undertaking a feasibility study into a high voltage direct cable between Darwin and Alice Springs.
Some of their recent achievements in government include a Home and Business Battery Scheme, announcing a $30 million Big Battery for the Darwin to Katherine grid and releasing the Territory’s first Renewable Hydrogen Strategy.
Compared to the other parties, the NT Greens have a more ambitious target of 100% renewable energy in the NT by 2030. If in power, they would launch their vision for a 100% renewable energy economy with an ambitious plan and marketing strategy to attract large-scale long-term investment, and implement clear interim targets. They would also implement all recommendations of the NT Government Roadmap to Renewables report.