NT aiming for 50% renewables by 2030 with emission reduction plan

Wind farm on dried grass with blue sky

The Northern Territory has announced a new plan that will help it achieve 50% renewable energy share and a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030. The new plan follows similar emissions reduction targets implemented in NSW and the ACT in recent weeks. 

The NT Government’s Darwin-Katherine Electricity System Plan comprises a multi-stage approach to reducing emissions, increasing renewable energy uptake and decreasing electricity system costs in the state.

The plan has featured input from expert industry and economic analysis, and aims to help meet government targets while minimising costs to Territorians. 

The Northern Territory already has a net-zero emissions goal in place for 2050, alongside each other Australian state. Despite this, the federal government has yet to commit to a nation-wide plan or target, which has led to an increase in state-based initiatives.

The three-stage plan titled ‘ready, set, go’, covers the steps the NT government will take to meet targets prior to 2030. The plan comprises of:

Stage 1 - ‘Ready’ (2021-2023)

This stage focuses on ensuring infrastructure and systems are in place.

  • Establishing a new renewable energy hub
  • Installing batteries for homes and communities under the Home and Business Battery Scheme and Remote Solar Program
  • Early-stage procurement of modular and mobile power generation assets to complement the existing power systems. 

Stage 2 - ‘Set’ (2024-2026) 

This stage focuses on preparation prior to the retirement of existing thermal generators in 2027 and building momentum for renewable investment.

  • The operation of virtual power plants             
  • Incentivising price structures that reward customers for shifting energy use

Stage 3 - ‘Go’ (2027-2030)

This stage will see the final implementation of infrastructure and generators to achieve the 50% renewable energy and 50% emission reduction goals. 

Smaller, agile, renewable-capable generators will be available, while some legacy assets will be retained under standby arrangements to ensure grid capacity and facilitate response to growth opportunities for the NT’s industrial sector. 

The state government says the plan will help the NT achieve the energy and emissions targets by 2030, while also saving $30 million a year in energy system costs by the end of the decade. 

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