Sustainable Energy and Carbon Offsets
The Northern Territory government recognises Territorians have a particular part to play in helping to reduce the impacts of climate change and has put robust policies in place to do so. These policies provide significant opportunities for investors to help drive the changes required.
The Northern Territory’s intact natural landscapes, immense quantities of carbon stores in trees and soil and capacity to better store carbon through effective land management, can deliver enormous opportunities to reduce and offset carbon emissions. Furthermore it can also create new jobs in the carbon economy.
With the Territory’s growing population the energy requirements of our expanding economy require new, cleaner sources of energy. The primary fuel source of electricity used by the Power and Water Corporation (PWC) is natural gas, which has a lower carbon footprint than other fossil fuels such as coal. PWC uses a combination of combined cycle gas turbines, open cycle gas turbines and gas-fired reciprocating engine generation that together provide significant emission advantages over black or brown coal. The Territory has a target of requiring all wholesale electricity purchasers in the Territory to meet the national 20% Renewable Energy Target (RET) from Territory sources by 2020.
Green Power was introduced by the PWC in March 2009. It is sourced from methane emissions captured at the Darwin Shoal Bay Landfill site. PWC invites further investment in renewable resources which can be integrated into the Green Power initiative.
Alice Springs Solar City
Alice Solar City, part of the Australian Government’s Solar Cities program, is a $37 million project designed to explore how solar power, energy efficient technologies and new approaches to electricity supply and pricing can encourage the residents of Alice Springs to become energy champions and develop a sustainable energy future. The Territory plan is to develop Alice Springs and Central Australia as a world-leading solar energy centre by 2020. The PWC also pays for electricity produced by home-based rooftop photovoltaic systems that is fed back into the electricity grid. This provides a welcome opportunity for investment in private solar electricity generation.
The Northern Territory Government has made initial progress in reducing energy consumption through energy efficiency within its buildings and car fleet. There are significant opportunities for reducing energy waste within the community and industry. The Territory welcomes businesses providing energy efficient solutions.
City of Weddell
The Territory Government is currently planning for Weddell, the next major urban development in the Top End. This key 2030 initiative presents a unique opportunity to plan living spaces for the future with good urban design, walkability, public transport links, environmentally sustainable buildings and community spaces that work for people. Weddell will eventually consist of four suburbs housing up to 50 000 people, of which 10 000 could be residents by the year 2020. This opportunity for the development of sustainable and efficient housing will require significant private investment.
Centre for Renewable Energy – Charles Darwin University
The Centre for Renewable Energy was established through a partnership of Charles Darwin University (CDU) and the Northern Territory Government. The Centre is located in the School of Engineering and Information Technology at CDU's Casuarina (Darwin) campus. The aim of the Centre is to ensure the Territory has the local capability to build its renewable energy sector, and provide leadership on renewable energy and low emissions deployment in the Territory.
Diesel Displacement in Remote Communities
The Territory plans to replace diesel as the primary source of power generation in remote towns and communities, using renewable and low emissions energy sources instead. The Territory welcomes investor proposals in this area.
The Territory is examining the viability of developing a local biofuels industry. The Territory welcomes investor proposals in this area, recognising that any proposed biofuel feed stock must meet with sustainability principles.
Carbon Offset Market
By 2020 the Territory Government will work with business and the community to establish a carbon offset industry in the Northern Territory, removing four million tonnes of carbon per year from the atmosphere through land management based carbon offsets. A draft Environmental Offset Policy was released by the Northern Territory Government on 28 October 2010. At this stage, the draft policy will not be implemented by change in laws, but as a working policy for a two-year period. During the interim two years, regulators will apply its provisions when considering permits, licences or other authority to undertake and operate a development affecting Territory environments. Those in the community, including landowners, are invited to create innovative and flexible carbon offsets which can be monitored by the Government.
Key Government Agency Contacts
Power and Water Corporation
Power and Water Corporation is the sole provider of electricity, water supply and sewerage services to almost 80 000 customers across the Northern Territory - an area of more than 1.3 million sq kms.
Tel: +61 8 8985 7213
Ben Hammond Complex
Illiffe Street, Stuart Park
In April 2000, the Northern Territory government commenced a process of reform of the Territory’s electricity supply industry, whereby the Power and Water Corporation’s effective monopoly over the supply of electricity to final consumers is to cease, and competition among generators and retailers is to be phased in:
- by allowing certain customers to choose their power supplier
- by licensing new suppliers to enter the market
- by facilitating third-party access to Power and Water's network infrastructure.
Investors interested in entering the Northern Territory electricity generator market should contact the Utilities Commission.
Tel: +61 8 8999 5480
9th floor, 38 Cavenagh Street
Darwin NT 0800
Industry Development, Department of Business
The Department of Business’ Industry Development Unit is growing the Northern Territory’s economic base by working with targeted industry sectors to identify new and additional opportunities for Territory businesses.
Tel: +61 8 8924 3839
76 The Esplanade
Darwin NT 0800
Department of Natural Resources, Environment, the Arts and Sport
For further information on carbon offsets or to discuss the Draft Environmental Offset Policy please contact the Director Policy and Systems NRD.
Tel: +61 8 8999 5511
25 Chung Wah Terrace
Palmerston NT 0831
Content current at 22 March 2011.