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From 28 August to 1 September 2023, 10 Timor-Leste officials visited the Northern Territory to witness the off-grid energy systems powering the Territory’s clean energy transition.
Arranged by the Australian Embassy in Dili and Australia’s Partnerships for Infrastructure initiative, the visit highlighted Australia-Timor-Leste cooperation on renewable energy and building resilience to climate change. The visit was also a practical example of how Timor-Leste and the Northern Territory are strengthening cooperation under the new four-year Strategic Partnership signed in February 2023.
Electricidade de Timor-Leste President, Dr. Paulo da Silva, said that there is much the Northern Territory and Australia can share. “In Timor-Leste, most people live in rural areas and rely on diesel for electricity, with access often cut-off due to natural disasters, low infrastructure quality and material aging. We have planning underway to use off-grid solar and battery storage to provide clean, reliable and affordable energy.”
During the visit, officials saw how off-grid solar and battery storage are powering remote and Indigenous communities at Nauiyu and Jabiru. Industry and community leaders shared how First Nations peoples were involved in the development of these hybrid renewable power solutions. Visiting the Desert Knowledge Australia Solar Centre in Alice Springs showcased a range of solar technology solutions at the Southern Hemisphere’s largest multi-technology solar demonstration facility.
Officials met with Hon Ngaree Ah Kit MLA, the Northern Territory’s Minister for Multicultural Affairs, who outlined the government’s key policy agenda to grow renewable energy, reduce diesel use and build resilience to climate change.
Experts from Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology discussed the provision of weather and climate information to energy agencies to improve critical infrastructure resilience. CSIRO outlined its cooperation with Indigenous organisations and communities to address energy and climate challenges.