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NT Government to invest AU$1.5 million over the next three years in renewable energy R & D projects

The Territory Labor Government announced on Saturday that they will be providing AU$1.5 million over three years to Charles Darwin University (CDU) and Centre for Appropriate Technology (CAT) for renewable energy research and development projects.

Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, Lauren Moss said the NT is uniquely placed to take advantage of the shift to renewable energy across the globe to deliver secure, reliable and affordable power.

“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,” Ms Moss said.

“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.”

Following a transparent, and competitive grant process, the Renewable Energy Sub-Committee recommended the following four projects.

The Centre for Appropriate Technology Ltd will receive:

AU$388,576 to develop of an investment grade renewable resource database to facilitate scaling of renewables in the NT.

·      This project aims to promote and facilitate investment in large-scale renewable energy projects in the Northern Territory by providing publically available, high quality meteorological data, which will aid in determining the most appropriate and cost-effective locations for renewable energy projects throughout the NT.

Charles Darwin University will receive funding for three projects:

AU$466,380 for Cost-Effective Maintenance of Remote Hybrid Mini-Grid Systems.

·      This project aims to promote and facilitate investment in large-scale renewable energy projects in the Northern Territory by providing publicly available, high quality meteorological data, which will aid in determining the most appropriate and cost-effective locations for renewable energy projects throughout the NT.

AU$231,316 for modelling future solar energy production from households and businesses in the Greater Darwin Area.

·      The overall aim of this project is to forecast photovoltaic deployment in the Greater Darwin area. The project is research-focused and aims to provide significant value in understanding the barriers to uptake of solar energy (and associated technologies) in the Northern Territory. This will assist the NT Government to understand how policy settings will impact on uptake of solar PV, therefore assisting in the development of policies and initiatives targeting increased update by domestic and commercial consumers.

AU$413,197 for Bioenergy for PV Hybrid Electricity Generation.

·      This project will investigate the use of biofuel as part of a hybrid power generation system. The power generated using biofuel will be used as a supplement to stabilise the power supply during weather events and operate during periods of limited sunlight. This project may have benefits for jobs, while also furthering the Northern Territory's integration of renewable energy. The project has broad application and relevance for indigenous communities, pastoralists, and may even be able to be utilised by urban communities if developed on a large scale.

CDU’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Research Training Professor Lawrence Cram welcomed the university’s role in solving problems related to energy in the Territory.

 “These projects are prime examples of how knowledge that is developed by the Northern Territory’s university can be accessed for the benefit of the whole community,” Professor Cram said.

“CDU is a leader in the North in the area of renewable energy and our staff are ready to take on the projects and deliver the solutions.”

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