LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – The RePower Alice Springs community campaign has been launched as a direct response to the recent NT Government announcement to invest $75 million into 10 new gas-fired turbines at Owen Springs Power Station, with no community consultation.
Whilst investment in reliable energy supply is welcomed, investment in fossil fuels is not and as the world starts to rapidly transition to renewable energy, the NT Government is taking a backward step by continuing to invest in fossil fuel infrastructure.
RePower Alice Springs represents a growing number of community members who want a solar future for the town. We are asking the NT Government to:–
• Immediately modify the contract with Clarke Energy to reduce the number of new gas turbines installed at Owen Springs, and redirect the available funding to up-scaling local solar power generation.
• Commit to a 10 year plan to transition Alice Springs to renewable energy.
• Create a Territory-wide Renewable Energy and Climate Change policy informed by climate science and community engagement with a focus on attracting investment for low-carbon energy infrastructure.
Alice Springs citizens have long shared a vision of Alice as a Solar City. With over 300 sunny days every year, Alice Springs has some of the highest solar potential in the world. We have a great legacy and expertise from the Alice Solar City project, so let’s capitalise on this, not lock ourselves into another 20 years of fossil fuel energy.
This decision represents a disconnect between the community, our elected representatives and Territory Generation. As the community continues to invest in rooftop solar and demand sustainable solutions, our NT government is fixated on gas, and is wasting public money on large-scale infrastructure that is destined to become a stranded asset in a low-carbon future.
We’ve just had the hottest February on record and now we are being told that the Great Barrier Reef is undergoing a mass bleaching event due to climate change.
Climate change is real, it’s happening right now and we need strong leadership from our government, not a business as usual approach.
RePower Alice Springs will be mounting a national campaign to have this decision reversed, and for the NT Government to engage in a plan to transition Alice Springs to solar energy.
Louise Stanley and Glenn Marshall
LETTER TO THE EDITOR