New data casts doubts on the direction the Northern Territory is heading in developing an onshore gas industry in a bid to deliver an economic boost.
Research by Beyond Zero Emissions has found the NT could create more than $2 billion annually and over 8,000 new jobs by pursuing a target of 10 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030.
"The world is waking up to the dangers of climate change, and fossil fuels have a bleak outlook as investors move away from them," Shar Molloy, director of Environment Centre NT, said.
The NT is already feeling the impacts of climate change, and the burning of coal, oil, and gas, will see potential economic growth at the expense of people's welfare, the director said.
"However you look at it, renewable energy is a strong and stable foundation for the Territory to build its economy on, through our incredible solar resource," Shar Molloy said.
"Should NT leaders back a resilient economy that has good future growth prospects and is good for people and the planet, or a polluting and financially risky economy that will make life more difficult, expensive, and unsafe? The answer is as clear as day."
The 'The 10 Gigawatt Vision: How renewable energy can power jobs and investment in the Northern Territory' report shows that backing renewables could cut transport costs by 80 per cent and reduce electricity bills by 30 per cent.
More Reading: European flavour in Katherine's solar farm
"Tapping into the NT's nearly unlimited potential to generate renewable energy is an ideal solution to the Territory's quest to build a strong, resilient economy for its people and give them a good quality of life," Vanessa Petrie, CEO of Beyond Zero Emissions, said.
"Switching to solar can provide immediate relief to Territorians in cities as well as remote communities, who pay some of the highest electricity prices in Australia.
"Access to affordable energy can also catalyse economic development in remote and regional areas.
"An ambitious renewable energy goal, combined with the Territory's strategic location, can also unlock new opportunities such as meeting the world's growing hunger for renewable hydrogen, exporting renewable electricity to growing Asian economies and adding significant value to exports through mineral processing."
Beyond Zero Emissions, an internationally recognised climate change think tank, has presented a report which presents "a bold future for the Northern Territory: one that is compatible with addressing climate change and the Territory's need for sustainable economic development".
"This vision puts the Territory at the forefront of the global transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy," the report states.
"Implementation of the 10 Gigawatt Vision will attract billions in private investment, creating more than 8,000 jobs during a 10-year build-out."
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox each Friday at 6am from the Katherine Times. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, sign up here.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.