The arrival of 10 new gas-fired engines in Alice Springs on Friday highlights the challenges the Gunner Government faces with achieving renewable energy targets whilst implementing Giles era investments in fossil fuel infrastructure.
The Arid Lands Environment Centre and community group RePower Alice Springs have led a strong campaign for increasing renewable energy generation in Alice Springs since the $75 million investment in gas-fired generation was announced in February 2016 by the then Giles Government. This was with no accompanying investment or planning into renewable energy.
“The 10 new gas engines are a legacy of the failed Giles Government that spent millions of taxpayers money promoting the gas industry and the expansion of unconventional gas production in the NT,” said Jimmy Cocking, Director of the Arid Lands Environment Centre.
“We have the legacy of the 10 gas-fired engines for Alice Springs and the Northern Gas Pipeline. Assessments must be made in terms of how both of these projects will impact future action on climate change and in meeting renewable energy targets before their implementation,” said Jimmy Cocking.
“Whilst the new gas engines will operate with reduced carbon emissions compared to the old Ron Goodin generators, gas is still a fossil fuel – a non renewable resource that emits carbon dioxide. When you factor in unconventional gas and fugitive gas leaks, the benefits of gas are negligible.”
“The Gunner Government has made a commitment to a renewable energy target of 50% by 2030. ALEC welcomes the significant cultural shift within the NT Government and Territory Generation towards renewable energy and battery storage, however we have serious reservations about how the installation of the 10 gas generators will help us achieve that target,” said Jimmy Cocking.