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More money is being invested in renewable energy as part of the Northern Territory’s drive to halve carbon emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050.

The Budget will see investments in three major initiatives.

Work on the business case for the Darwin-Katherine Renewable Energy Hub has been boosted by $1 million in the Budget for this financial year.

The funding will allow work on the master planning and concept development of the major electricity transmission infrastructure project to continue.

The hub will enable the connection of up to 180 megawatts of renewable energy generation to the Darwin- Katherine system by 2030.

Electricity consumers have welcomed a decision announced in the Budget to renew the popular Home and Business Battery Scheme in 2023-24.

The initiative, which is the most generous in Australia, provides grants to homeowners, businesses and not for- profit organisations to buy and install batteries and inverters.

It had a modest target when launched in 2020 to support 133 battery installations, but has so far resulted in the installation of more than 1600 batteries.

Batteries allow consumers to store electricity rather than exporting it to the grid.

The Territory Government is also working to enable a broader section of the community to benefit from taking control of their electricity bills by funding a Jacana Energy trial of rooftop solar on 30 public housing blocks in Darwin, Palmerston and Tennant Creek.

Lessons learned from the trial will inform future potential programs for rooftop solar by community housing providers and in remote communities.

The third boost for renewable energy in the Budget is $5.372 million over the next two years to establish a task force to deliver electricity market reforms that seek to, among other things, protect the Territory’s electricity prices from future shocks.

The taskforce will be made up of the chief executive of the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade, the Under Treasurer and an independent member.

It will be supported by a project team within the Office of Sustainable Energy.

The Territory Government is supporting households and small businesses to meet the costs of essential services by limiting increases to utility tariffs.

The taskforce has been tasked with finding efficiencies in the supply of electricity to reduce costs to taxpayers and consumers.