Policy, Projects, Renewables, Solar

Aussie households drive renewables boom in 2023

renewables, solar, rooftop

Australian households and businesses led the charge in the nation’s renewable energy transition last year, according to the latest Quarterly Carbon Market Report from the Clean Energy Regulator (CER).

A staggering 3.1 gigawatts (GW) of rooftop solar capacity was installed throughout 2023, with consumers preparing for an increasingly electrified future. Over 331,000 new rooftop systems were added at a record average size of 9 kilowatts.

Energy efficient air source heat pumps also saw booming demand, with 135,000 units installed last year – a 55 per cent jump from 2022 levels.

CER Chair David Parker said if the rising trend from the past two years continues, 2024 could set a new record for annual rooftop solar installations as households and companies seek to curb energy bills.

“The Large-scale Renewable Energy Target and Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme continue to incentivise renewables investment. 2023 was the sixth year in a row where Australia added more than 5 GW of renewable capacity,” Parker said.

While 2.2GW of large-scale projects reached completion in 2023, a strong pipeline of 6.5 GW is currently under construction and expected to start generation from 2024 to 2026.

Renewables accounted for an average 39 per cent share in the National Electricity Market last year, on track to hit around 42 per cent in 2024 – over halfway to the government’s 82 per cent by 2030 target.

Wind and solar investment decisions eased in 2023 to 1.5 GW, though 2024 has started positively with 0.6 GW announced in January. Large-scale renewable investment is likely to ramp up driven by the Capacity Investment Scheme.

On the carbon market front, 17.2 million Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs) were issued in 2023, with over 20 million new ACCUs expected this year as Safeguard entities stockpile credits to meet compliance obligations.

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