Climate Change

07 Oct 2021

Northern Australia Reveals 50 pct Renewable Energy Plan

07 Oct 2021  by Xinhua   
The government of Australia's Northern Territory (NT) has revealed a plan to achieve its goal of using 50 percent renewable energy by 2030.

Eva Lawler, NT's environment minister, on Tuesday 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 percent currently to 50 percent by 2030.

According to the government, doing so will reduce the annual cost of producing the NT's electricity from 346.2 million Australian dollars (252.4 million U.S. dollars) to 316.6 million Australian dollars (230.8 million U.S. dollars).

"This plan is really about making sure we get to that target and we get to it in a staged way," Lawler told reporters.

"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 Labor Party committed to the 50 percent target by 2030 in the lead-up to the 2016 election but has been criticized 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 said the government has 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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