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The latest edition of the Clean Energy Australia Report has been released, providing a comprehensive snapshot of the Australian clean energy sector, its progress and achievements.

The report revealed that the Australian renewable energy industry commenced construction on over 5,000MW of large-scale wind and solar farms in 2022 – the highest year for new renewable construction commitments on record.

Key stats from the Clean Energy Australia 2023 Report:

  • Rooftop solar provided more than a quarter (25.8 per cent) of total Australian renewable generation in 2022
  • New capacity added totalled 2.7GW from 310,352 new rooftop solar installations
  • The average solar system size continued its trend of increasing year-on-year, rising from 8.79kW in 2021 to 8.84kW in 2022
  • Estimates suggest over 50,000 household battery systems were installed in 2022, up from 34,731 in 2021
  • The number of Clean Energy Council-accredited designers and installers grew by 3.5 per cent to 8,988

Solar success

Rooftop solar accounted for 25.8 per cent of Australia’s total renewable energy generation in 2022. The report also showed that 310,000 new rooftop solar systems accounting for 2.7GW of capacity rooftop solar were added to the grid – nearly the same capacity as a single power station.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive, Kane Thornton, said, ““There’s significant cause for optimism at a time when ageing fossil fuel-based generators are retiring. Rooftop solar is playing a massive role in decarbonising the Australian energy grid and putting us on the path to 82 per cent renewable energy by 2030.

“While much of the political and big policy debates are taking place for other renewable energy industries – all of which are vitally important – rooftop solar has been doing and continues to do a lot of the heavy lifting.”

Rooftop solar is the foundation of Australia’s renewable energy success and continues to position Australia as a global leader in solar power. Every day Australians are harnessing the sun’s power to keep their energy bills low and take direct action on climate.

Rise of renewables

Renewable energy accounted for 35.9 per cent of Australia’s total electricity generation in 2022, up from 32.5 per cent in 2021. That figure has more than doubled since 2017, when renewable energy accounted for just 16.9 per cent of generation.

Investors are also responding to the need for more renewable energy storage, with 19 large-scale battery projects under construction, with combined capacity of those projects (1,380 MW/2,004/MWh) significantly higher than the previous year (921MW/1,169MWh).

“There were challenges for the industry in 2022, but our workforce showed its resilience in the face of higher polysilicon prices, a reduction in subsidies and other supply chain issues,” Mr Thornton said.

“The number of Clean Energy Council-accredited designers and installers also continued to grow for the seventh year running, with 8,988 individuals demonstrating industry best practice standards, producing safe, reliable systems and meeting customer expectations.

“Large-scale clean energy investment reached $6.2 billion in 2022, a 17 per cent increase from 2021. The final quarter of 2022 saw investment in financially committed large-scale generation and storage projects reach $4.29 billion, the second-highest quarterly result since data collection began in 2017.

“Australia’s energy mix will undoubtedly now be the beneficiary of greater policy clarity, with climate change and the clean energy transition areas of genuine focus federally, with sensible and ambitious policies. However, we cannot take the sustained growth of renewable energy for granted.

“To reach the Federal Government’s renewable energy generation target of 82 per cent by 2030, the pace of deployment for new large-scale projects needs to at least double.”

The Clean Energy Australia 2023 Report can be read here.

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