Q&A

Will the Government adopt all of the enabling actions in the Roadmap to Renewables report?

As noted by the Expert Panel, the enabling actions are a guide for approaches that could be used to achieve the recommendations. For this reason, the Government is undertaking further investigation to ensure the best approaches are implemented to achieve the target, at least cost to government, taxpayers, and consumers.

Actions which have been investigated for their merit against the principles of least cost, reliability, and security of supply have been included in the first stage of implementation.

Detailed investigations will continue through 2018 and into 2019, with the results used to develop policy and programs for inclusion in the second stage of implementation. The actions identified in the second stage of implementation, may include those identified by the panel, as well as other options that may not have been identified in the Roadmap to Renewables report.

Rapid advancement in technology and cost reduction in supply, means there will be new options and approaches that could be implemented to achieve the target. It is this government’s intent to take an adaptive approach to implementation which will allow changes over time to ensure the target is achieved whilst providing the best outcomes against the guiding principles.

The report recommends including self-generating enterprises in the target. Why isn’t the Government adopting this approach?

The Government has elected to define the target as ‘50% of the electricity consumed in 2030 from grid connected installations, including behind the meter generation and all Aboriginal communities supplied by Indigenous Essential Services, excluding self-generating enterprises that generate electricity for their own use in their primary business’.

This approach aligns with the national approach, which excludes businesses that generate electricity for their own use. Whilst the Government is taking this approach, it encourages self-generating enterprises to consider the use of renewable energy where appropriate for their particular circumstances.

How will electricity market reforms help achieve the renewable energy target?

  • The NTEM will support the growing investor interest in the construction of renewable energy projects on the Darwin-Katherine power network.
  • The proposed application of the National Electricity Rules (NER (NT)) and development of a wholesale electricity market in the Darwin-Katherine power system, provide the necessary regulatory and legislative platform for a competitive, reliable and secure electricity market. These reforms will assist in integrating renewables at least cost.
  • The proposed NTEM design and transition arrangements will also ensure a controlled market environment to minimise, where appropriate, the stranding of existing government assets.

Will the NTEM apply to the Alice Springs and Tenant Creek Networks?

The NTEM will apply to the Darwin-Katherine network as it has a larger customer base compared to the Alice Springs and Tenant Creek networks to support competition. This approach will be reviewed, subject to the results of market modelling and analysis and performance over the next few years of the NTEM on the Darwin-Katherine market.

What will the Northern Territory do with displaced gas supplies?

Gas is an enabler of renewable energy and will continue to provide a significant component of our energy needs as we integrate more renewable energy.

Government is investigating options to on-sell any surplus gas to other markets, as well as to encourage new investors into the Northern Territory, where they can prosper from our rich sources of both gas and renewable energy resources.

Do arrangements for the National Electricity Market impact the Territory’s renewable energy target?

No. The National Electricity Market (NEM) operates in Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT.  The Northern Territory and Western Australia are not part of the NEM. However, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has an ambition of adopting a national policy, tailored to each jurisdiction, and the Northern Territory Government will continue to explore, adapt and adopt aspects of national policy that work for the Northern Territory.

Does the current Australian Government Renewable Energy Target still apply to the Territory?

Yes. The two schemes under the National Renewable Energy Target (RET), the large-scale renewable energy scheme and small-scale renewable energy scheme will continue until 2030 independently of the Territory’s renewable energy target. Electricity entities across Australia, including the NT, will still have liabilities under the RET until 2030.

Large scale renewable energy subsidies (certificates) under the RET will continue to provide incentives for renewable generation in the Territory until 2020, however, as the RET winds down after 2020, such incentives are expected to significantly decline. This is because the National RET target of 33 000 gigawatt hours will remain constant from 2020 to 2030.

The price of small-scale certificates are not expected to decline rapidly as is expected to be the case of large-scale certificates. However, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in its recent Retail Electricity Pricing Inquiry has recommended ceasing the small scale renewable energy scheme due to the reduction in supply costs.