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New Developments in Northern Australia that will allow renewable energy for export and domestic use

New Developments in Northern Australia that will allow renewable energy for export and domestic use
By Simon Williams
July 15, 2019

Climate change is arguably the hottest topic in the world right now. With many countries, world leaders and champions for change calling for action now, it’s no surprise to see innovation in our own backyard. Focus and emphasis on clean, renewable energy sources are critical for the environment to survive in the future. The planned projects in the Northern Territory are a prime example of innovative, clean energy solutions which can offer not only a cleaner tomorrow but a new export opportunity for the country.

What is being proposed?

The Northern Territory is a proverbial land of opportunity when it comes to renewable energy. It has vast amounts of unused land and ideal conditions for absorbing and processing solar energy. Sun Cable is a proposed super-farm of solar panels that will utilise 15 thousand hectares of unused land in the top end to trap, absorb and transfer solar energy to a usable resource. Sun Cable will become the world’s largest solar energy farm with a 10-gigawatt capacity, making huge strides in Australia’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement and exploring renewable energy sources.

Who will benefit?

The proposed mega farm will help create a sustainable energy source for the Northern Territory with the primary beneficiary being Darwin. Sun Cable will be plugged directly into the top end power grid via overhead lines. Offering a superior source of renewable energy in a competitive market will help reduce the cost of energy for the Northern Territory. Sun Cable will not only benefit the residents of the Northern Territory but Australia as a whole. The current proposal includes an export arrangement to provide one-fifth of Singapore’s energy consumption. Sun Cable will export the energy consumed by the solar farm via submarine cables, helping to reduce the country's reliance on less efficient and renewable energy sources such as gas. At the same time, the solar farm will increase revenue coming back into Australia via trade agreements.

What is next?

Sun Cable is currently in the planning phase and will require significant capital and financing to get past initial stages. With a world-leading capacity for renewable solar energy, the farm has the potential to change the face of the energy industry both domestically and abroad. It’s no secret the energy market is becoming increasingly more expensive due to competition, costs of extraction and many other factors. With Sun Cable focussing on otherwise unused lands and a renewable energy source, the farm has the potential to help lower domestic dependence on non-renewable energy sources, helping to lower the cost of energy for Australia. In addition, by exporting to resource-scarce countries such as Singapore, there is potential for more and more consortiums and organisations to enter this space in Australia. More emphasis on renewable energy projects can only mean better climate outcomes for Australia as a whole.

Whilst Sun Cable is still a considerable distance from starting construction or creating jobs domestically, the progress of the project is an exciting development for Australian climate change. It has the potential to improve environmental outcomes and market conditions in the energy sector where prices have steadily been on the rise.CartridgesDirect is in full support of promoting and practising sustainable change and pride ourselves on the ability to drive these initiatives in the corporate sector. These types of projects certainly create a level of excitement for the future of Australia’s energy and climate industries.