Posted on 1 April, 2022Download
The Clean Energy Australia report provides a comprehensive overview of the Australian clean energy sector.
The report covers the latest key figures and statistics on the national energy market. It is the only analysis that includes the National Electricity Market, the Western Australian electricity grid and other major regional grids across the country in areas such as the Northern Territory.
The Australian renewable energy industry powered on in 2021, generating more clean energy than ever before and adding a record amount of new capacity.
The Australian renewable energy industry accounted for 32.5 per cent of Australia’s total electricity generation in 2021, which represented an increase of almost 5 percentage points compared to 2020. This growth was again led by small-scale solar, which added 3.3 GW of new capacity during the year to record its fifth-straight record-breaking year. The large-scale sector also had a bumper year in 2021, adding 2955 MW across 27 projects, which included Australia's three largest solar farms and two of the country's three largest wind farms.
More than any other year so far, 2021 signalled the inevitability of Australia's clean energy future Clean Energy Council Chief Executive, Kane Thornton
At the end of 2021, 66 large-scale wind and solar projects were under construction or financially committed, representing more than 7 GW of new capacity and 19,000 jobs. You can view more detail on the projects currently under development around the country on our project tracker page.
renewable energy projects completed in 202127
Australia's leading source of clean energy generation in 2021 was again wind, which accounted for 35.9 per cent of renewable generation and 11.7 per cent of total electricity generation. The sector added 1.7 GW of new capacity in 2021, its third-straight record-breaking year, and two of Australia's three largest wind farms were commissioned during the year.
The small-scale solar sector added 3.3 GW of new capacity in 2021, the first time it has passed the 3 GW mark. This represents the fifth-straight year that the sector has broken the record for annual installed capacity and the second year in a row that it has broken the record for new installations.
The large-scale solar sector bounced back in 2021, adding more than 1.2 GW of new capacity throughout the year after falling below the 1 GW mark in 2020. This made 2021 the sector's second-best year and included the commissioning of Australia's three largest solar farms.
The battery storage sector continued to make steady progress in 2021, with the commissioning of the Victorian Big Battery a headline achievement. Continued strong interest in both large-scale and household batteries means that the sector is poised to expand exponentially in the coming years.
Governments and businesses also continued to strongly back the hydrogen industry in 2021, with more than 100 projects worth $163 billion under development at the end of the year.
The states and territories continued to lead Australia’s renewable energy transition in 2021, demonstrating just what is possible with good policy and bipartisan support.
The eyes of the world were on South Australia in 2021 as the amount of the state's electricity that came from wind and solar reached unparalleled levels. Of all the records broken in SA in 2021, the most impressive was when the state was powered entirely by wind and solar over a 93-hour period. This was a record for a gigawatt-scale grid anywhere in the world.
New South Wales maintained its clean energy momentum in 2021, making a flurry of new announcements and commitments, including formally declaring Australia's first renewable energy zone, offering $3 billion in incentives for new hydrogen projects in the state and approving the construction of Project EnergyConnect, the $2.3 billion interconnector between NSW and South Australia.
Victoria clean energy ambitions also continued in 2021 with the launch of VRET2, the state's second renewable energy auction that will procure 600 MW of new large-scale wind, solar and hydro capacity across the state. Victoria also became host to Australia's largest battery in 2021 following the completion of the 300 MW/450 MWh Victorian Big Battery.
See how your state is tracking below.
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Note: The ACT is part of the NSW region and data for the NT grid is unavailable.
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