Australia's renewable energy industry continued its record-breaking run in 2021, as revealed in the Clean Energy Council's 2022 Clean Energy Australia Report released today. Renewable energy now accounts for 32.5 per cent of Australia's electricity – a figure that's almost doubled since 2017 when renewable energy accounted for 16.9 per cent of generation. Renewables now generate enough energy to power Australian households 1.6 times over.
“2021 was another record year for clean energy in Australia, with almost 3 GW of new large-scale renewable energy projects completed. The rooftop solar sector also had its fifth-straight record-breaking year, installing almost 400,000 new systems to add 3.3 GW of new capacity,” said Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton.
“This equates to over 6.3 GW of new capacity installed during the year, giving Australia confidence that it can deliver the new clean energy supply necessary to support the accelerated closure of coal generation and achieve more ambitious climate change goals.
“2021 was also a breakthrough year for big batteries, with 30 large-scale batteries under construction at the end of 2021 with a combined capacity and storage duration of 921 MW/1169 MWh. Energy investors are clearly confident about the important role and commercial viability of big batteries to deliver the reliable power of the future.”
However, Thornton said that these extraordinary achievements are clouded by a significant slowdown in the pipeline for new large-scale renewable energy projects, with the level of financial commitments for new large-scale renewable energy projects falling by more than 17 per cent from $4.5 billion in 2020 to $3.7 billion in 2021.
"This significant reduction is due to continued policy uncertainty combined with the challenges associated with connecting renewable energy projects to the grid,” he said.
“While investors are enthusiastic about investing in new large-scale renewable energy projects, these challenges have increased risks and slowed down the number of new projects coming forward. The slowdown is concerning in light of expectations that coal-fired power plants will continue to close earlier than previously anticipated."
Other highlights from the 2022 Clean Energy Australia Report include:
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