Australia’s Clean Energy Build Hits Record Highs, Report

The latest edition of the Clean Energy Australia report, published by Australia’s renewable energy association, reveals that the Australian renewable energy industry commenced construction on over 5000 MW of large-scale wind and solar farms in 2022 – the highest year for new renewable construction commitments on record.

Investors are also responding to the need for more energy storage, with 19 large-scale battery projects under construction, with the combined capacity of those projects (1380 MW/2004 MWh) significantly higher than the previous year (921 MW/1169 MWh).

The report says renewable energy accounted for 35.9% of Australia’s total electricity generation in 2022, up from 32.5% in 2021. Australia has more than doubled the amount of renewable energy since 2017 when renewable energy accounted for just 16.9% of generation.

“There’s significant cause for optimism at a time when ageing fossil fuel-based generators are retiring,” said Clean Energy Council Chief Executive, Kane Thornton.

“Large-scale clean energy investment reached AUS$6.2 billion in 2022, a 17% increase from 2021. The final quarter of 2022 saw investment in financially committed large-scale generation and storage projects reach AUS$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,” said Thornton.

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

Among the key stats from the Clean Energy Australia 2023 Report include:

  • 2257 MW of new large-scale renewable generation capacity completed construction and was added to the grid across 20 projects.

  • The rooftop solar sector added 2.7 GW of new capacity from 310,352 households and small businesses.

  • 4.6 GW of onshore wind projects either commenced construction or were financially committed.

  • 1380 MW/2004 MWh of large-scale batteries were under construction at the end of 2022, a significant increase in capacity compared to 2021: 921 MW/1169 MWh.

  • Year-to-year investment in the clean energy industry for large-scale projects rose 17 per cent from 2021, at $6.2 billion in 2022.

  • 28 renewable power purchase agreements (PPAs) were finalised in 2022, directly contracting around 1600 MW – the largest volume since the emergence of corporate PPAs in 2016.

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