As the NT Government drags its heals on any meaningful action to address climate change, the Alice Springs community has shown it’s willing to pay handsomely for the necessary solar power infrastructure.
In results released today, over 80 per cent of the 542 respondents to RePower’s community solar investment survey said they are willing to invest in an Alice Springs solar farm, with $1,000 to $5,000 the most commonly stated investment range. The results add up to at least $850,000 and possibly over $3m in investment interest from the community in solar energy infrastructure, according to the survey report.
The survey report comes just weeks after the release of the NT Government’s 10 Year Infrastructure Plan showed little investment in renewables infrastructure. And just one year after the NT Roadmap to Renewables report recommended the government “take immediate action to kick-start the roll-out of renewable energy projects”, among 11 recommendations the government supported or supported in principle.
“Not near enough has happened from the government since the Roadmap report, despite the climate itself telling us to act now,” said RePower’s Rosalie Schultz. “The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change this week will yet again emphasize the urgency.”
Most respondents to the RePower survey wanted to invest in solar infrastructure because of environmental and community concerns, rather than for the financial return on investment that can be expected from a well-managed solar farm.
“Alice Springs community members are willing to put their money where their concerns are,” said Dr Schultz. “If the 542 respondents are a representative sample, the potential for investment in big solar here is likely much larger than our survey directly indicates. If the NT Government also showed such interest in solar infrastructure investment we might start to approach its target of 50 per cent renewable power for the NT by 2030.
“The Territory is missing the renewables boom occurring interstate and overseas and the jobs that come with it. We are not doing what should come naturally to Territorians to limit dangerous climate change: make lots of solar power with all our sun. In our survey, Alice community members have again shown that is what they expect.”
Download the survey report here