NT’s Cash Splash On Renewable Energy Research And Development

Renewables research and development

Image: Jaidee

On Saturday, the Northern Territory’s Government announced $1.5 million in funding for renewable energy research and development projects.

The funding will be provided over three years to four projects to be carried out by researchers at Charles Darwin University (CDU) and Centre for Appropriate Technology (CAT).

The projects are:

Centre for Appropriate Technology – $388,576 to develop an investment grade renewable resource database

The database will assist in determining the most appropriate and cost-effective locations for large scale renewable energy projects throughout the Territory.

Charles Darwin University – $466,380 for cost-effective maintenance of remote hybrid mini-grid systems

Predictive technology for optimising maintenance and procurement activities associated with remote hybrid mini-grids that will increase their effectiveness and quality of service.

Charles Darwin University – $231,316 for modelling future residential and commercial solar electricity generation

This project will forecast deployment of solar power in the Greater Darwin area and reveal barriers to uptake of solar PV in the Northern Territory that the NT Government can then act on.

Charles Darwin University – $413,197 for bioenergy for PV hybrid electricity generation

Investigating the integration of biofuels-based generation in PV systems to address intermittency issues during unfavourable conditions.

“Increased investment in renewable energy creates jobs, and delivering cheap and reliable energy for business and families will provide a boost for economic development and population growth,” said Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, Lauren Moss. “The renewable energy research and development projects being funded are exciting, and will help us to deliver on Labor’s target of 50% renewable energy by 2030.”

Last week, the Northern Territory Government released the Roadmap To Renewables report, which is designed to assist the Territory in boosting renewables from a current 4% to 50% by 2030. NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner said his Government had accepted or accepted in principle all key recommendations contained in the report.

Solar energy features prominently in the Roadmap To Renewables report, which states the amount of area needed for solar PV in order to reach the target would be around 700 hectares; a tiny fraction of the NT’s 134,620,000 hectares.

Large-scale solar could really start to make its presence felt in the Northern Territory in 2018, with at least two major projects in the works.

Trivia: there were approximately 8,300 small-scale (<100kW) solar power systems installed throughout the Northern Territory as at November 1 (Source: Clean Energy Regulator).

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

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