Australia NT government reveals 50% renewable energy plan
CANBERRA. The government of Australia’s Northern Territory (NT) has revealed a plan to achieve its goal of using 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030.
Eva Lawler, NT’s environment minister, released a plan for transforming the NT’s largest power grid within nine years. Under the plan, more reliance on solar power and battery storage will increase the proportion of renewable energy in the Darwin-Katherine electricity grid from 12% currently to 50% by 2030.
According to the government, doing so will reduce the annual cost of producing the NT’s electricity from A$346.2 million (US$252.4 million U.S. dollars) to A$316.6 million (US$230.8 million). “This plan is really about making sure we get to that target and we get to it in a staged way,” Lawler stated.
“It’s about making sure we have secure energy, that we have affordable energy and that it’s green energy into the future.”
The NT’s governing Labour Party committed to the 50% target by 2030 in the lead-up to the 2016 election but had been criticised for its slow and troubled rollout of renewables. Under the electricity grid plan, a ‘renewable energy hub’ of solar generators and a large-scale battery will be built at the Channel Island Power Station by 2024.
Another battery will come online by 2027 and the grid’s gas-fired generators will be retired.
Lawler further said the government had not yet decided whether the energy hub and batteries will be funded by the government or by the private sector.
“That is the work that needs to happen now — we have mapped out that plan, then the cost will be around the implementation of that,” she said.
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