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The Clean Energy Regulator (CER) has released its latest Quarterly Carbon Market Report (QCMR) which shows that there has been significant uptake of rooftop solar in 2023, with Australian households and businesses installing 3.1GW of capacity throughout the year. 

CER Chair, David Parker, said that consumers are preparing for a more electrified world with 331,000 new installations at a record average capacity of 9kW. 

If the increasing trend from the previous two years continues, CER predicts that a new record for additional rooftop solar capacity may be set in 2024 as households and businesses continue to take control of their energy bills.

Energy efficient air source heat pumps also continue to be installed at record rates. 135,000 were installed in 2023 – a 55 per cent increase on 2022.

“The Large-scale Renewable Energy Target and Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme continue to incentivise renewables investment,” Mr Parker said. 

“2023 was the sixth year in a row where Australia added more than 5GW of renewable capacity.” 

2.2GW of large-scale capacity was added in 2023. There is a pipeline of large-scale renewables with 6.5GW of capacity under construction at the end of 2023 that will likely reach first generation of electricity from 2024 to 2026.

Renewables made up an average of 39 per cent of generation in the National Electricity Market in 2023. CER expects that it will be approximately 42 per cent in 2024, just past the halfway mark to the government’s goal of 82 per cent by 2030.

Wind and solar power station investment announcements eased in 2023, with 1.5GW reaching a final investment decision. 2024 has started positively with 0.6GW announced in January and CER said that a step up in large-scale renewable investment in 2024 is likely as the Federal Government’s Capacity Investment Scheme drives new investment decisions.

Mr Parker said the latest QCMR also reports 17.2 million Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs) were issued in 2023. In 2024, a new ACCU supply record of more than 20 million is expected.

This ACCU supply is increasingly flowing into the accounts of Safeguard entities as they continue to accumulate ACCUs to meet compliance obligations under the reformed Safeguard Mechanism. Holdings in accounts of Safeguard entities increased by 4.1 million in the second half of 2023 to 7.4 million ACCUs.

“The latest QCMR shows Federal Government schemes the CER administers made strong contributions to reducing Australia’s emissions in 2023.”

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