The Northern Territory’s energy market will undergo a massive transformation as the Gunner Government tries to reach a 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030.
The target was a key election promise by the Labor Government.
An independent panel on Monday handed down 11 recommendations in its the final Roadmap to Renewables report.
The suggestions include making renewable energy a central pillar of the NT Government’s economic policy.
The changes outlined in the plan would see the Territory move away from its reliance on gas and diesel, which accounts for 96 per cent of its energy generation.
This year only 4 per cent of the NT’s energy generation came from solar power.
Chief Minister Michael Gunner said work will begin immediately to increase the Territory’s use of solar power until it was the region’s main energy source.
“Increased investment in renewable energy creates jobs, and delivering cheap and reliable energy for businesses and families is a boost for economic development and population growth.”
Money for NT household improvements
The Northern Territory is following similar energy targets set by Queensland and South Australia.
The Government is yet to release economic modelling outlining how much the transition will cost.
But Mr Gunner was adamant there would not be extra expenses for taxpayers to transform the Territory’s energy system by 2030.
“I see this very much about how we guide the infrastructure investment we were going to make over the next 12 years anyway into renewables, but also provide that opportunity for the private sector to buy in.”
Some of the recommendations the NT Government is adopting include changes to market rules to encourage business investment.
Mr Gunner announced $4.5 million to fund co-contribution grants of up to $1,000 for households to increase their use of renewable energy.
The money can be used for the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, batteries, solar pool pumps, smart meters, efficient lighting, solar hot water, energy efficient appliances, and efficiency audits.
This was originally published by ABC.net.au.