Investment in renewables is supported by the Renewable Energy Target (RET) through large-scale generation certificates (LGCs) and small-scale technology certificates (STCs). LGCs and STCs provide incentives to bring forward investment in additional renewable energy and support the economic case for new projects and installations.

In 2023, Australia continued to deploy renewables at a rapid pace. It was the 6th year in a row of more than 5 gigawatts (GW) of total capacity being added. The total renewable capacity added in 2023 was 5.3 GW. 

Rooftop solar rebounded to the second highest annual capacity with 3.1 GW installed in 2023. Households and businesses also installed a record 135,000 air source heat pumps, which are energy efficient hot water systems. This is up 55% compared to the 87,000 installed in 2022. Additionally, 2.2 GW of newly completed large-scale renewable capacity was approved by the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) to create LGCs.

In 2023, the total estimated generation incentivised by the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) and Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) was 27,900 gigawatt hours (GWh) and 48,800 GWh respectively. This represented around 28% of all electricity generation in Australia, 12% higher than 2022.

In 2024, we expect at least 3.1 GW of rooftop solar and 2.5 to 3.0 GW of large-scale renewables to be added.  If the large-scale power stations under construction progress on schedule, the total renewable capacity added in 2024 could exceed 6 GW.

Figure 2.1


This figure shows installed capacity under the SRES and approved capacity for wind and solar power stations under the LRET in gigawatts (GW) over time.

This figure is interactive. Hover over/tap each segment to see the capacity. Click/tap on the items in the legend to hide/show data in the figure.

Small print

A 12 month creation period for registered persons to create small-scale technology certificates (STCs) applies under the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Regulations (2001). SRES installed capacity in 2023 has been lag-adjusted to account for the 12 month creation rule and is an estimate only. The 2023 installed capacity figure may change.

Capacity figures relating to the LRET are based on the approval date. This is the date a renewable energy power station was approved by the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) to be accredited to generate large-scale generation certificates (LGCs).

Households continue to make a large contribution to the renewables transition

The acceleration of households preparing for electrification and taking control of their energy costs continued. In 2023, 331,000 rooftop solar systems were installed with an average system capacity of 9.3 kilowatts (kW), an annual record. This is up 0.5 kW compared to 2022 and the highest growth in 3 years.

In 2023, 27,000 batteries were reported to be installed with rooftop solar systems. This is about 8% of rooftop solar systems installed in 2023. Battery data is voluntarily reported to the CER and is incomplete. Other market sources suggest the rate is higher at around 14%. 

Since 1 January 2020, 12 GW of rooftop solar capacity has been installed. This is over half the total capacity installed since the SRES commenced. Payback periods for rooftop solar remain relatively stable at an average of about 4 years despite the reducing incentive under the SRES. In the second half of 2023 prices for systems began falling again after two years of modest increases. 

Large-scale deployment stable despite the complexity of connecting to the grid

In 2023, 2.2 GW of large-scale renewable power station capacity was approved by the CER to create LGCs. This was slightly down compared to the 2.5 GW approved in 2022, but similar to the 2.3 GW approved in 2021. Challenges in connecting and integrating new renewable projects remain. However, announcements of new grid scale batteries and further investment in grid infrastructure should enable additional deployment of large-scale renewable projects. 

Typically, wind and solar power stations take a minimum of 12 months from commencing construction to reach first generation of electricity, with many taking much longer. It then takes additional time to complete the build for these power stations to generate at full capacity. These timeframes are getting longer in part due to the projects getting bigger as well as construction delays due to the weather and workforce constraints. 

About 1.5 GW of large-scale renewable power stations tracked by the CER reached a final investment decision (FID) in 2023. This was down from the 4.5 GW that reached FID in 2022. The lower FID in 2023 may have been partly due to some 2023 announcements being pulled forward to 2022. At the end of 2023, 6.5 GW of large-scale renewable power stations remain under construction. These power stations will likely be approved by the CER to create LGCs in 2024-26. In January 2024, an additional 0.56 GW reached FID. 

Solar power stations accounted for around 67%, or 1.5 GW, of the 2.2 GW approved in 2023. This is up from 57% in 2022. 96% of power stations approved in 2023 had a capacity of less than 30 megawatts (MW). These smaller power stations include rooftop solar installed by businesses as well as smaller solar farms near mines and industrial sites. In 2023, 12 utility scale solar power stations with a capacity greater than 30 MW were approved. The average size of these power stations was 130 MW. Solar power stations greater than 30 MW are typically classified as scheduled or semi-scheduled generation and may follow the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) central dispatch process.

NSW accounted for nearly half of approved capacity in 2023, up from 33% in 2022. This is followed by Queensland with over 30% of approved capacity.

Solar is driving renewable generation growth

The Australian Government has a target of 82% renewable electricity nationally by 2030. We expect an average of 42% generation from renewable electricity in the National Energy Market (NEM) in 2024. Overall, the average was 39% for 2023, falling just short of our estimate of 40%. However, the year ended well with Q4 2023 averaging 43%, which is typically a seasonally high quarter for renewable electricity generation.

In 2023, renewable generation growth in the NEM was driven by rooftop and large-scale solar, which grew by 25% and 28%, respectively. Impressively, at times in Q4 2023, rooftop solar met more than 100% of demand in South Australia. In December 2023, South Australia achieved an average of 82% renewables.

Figure 2.2

Renewables generation share and emissions intensity of the National Electricity Market (NEM)

2011 to 2023 Note: This figure is not interactive.


This figure shows the share of generation contributed by renewables in the NEM over time. It also shows the emissions intensity of the NEM as tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (t CO2-e) per megawatt hour (MWh) over time. The NEM operates in ACT, NSW, Queensland, SA, Victoria and Tasmania. It does not include WA or NT.

Small print

Generation and emissions intensity data sourced from OpenNEM on 17 January 2024. A small portion of renewable generation, including biomass, is not shown.


In January 2024, the AEMO released the Quarterly Energy Dynamics (QED) report for Q4 2023. The report highlighted many records related to renewables in the NEM were broken in Q4 2023. On 24 October 2023, the maximum instantaneous share of renewable energy generation in the NEM reached a record 72%.

Storage is key to maximising Australia’s renewable output

A balanced generation mix in the grid is important to ensure it is secure and stable. Wind has the potential to balance solar generation, as it can generate energy at different times. More wind is being built with 3.5 of the 6.5 GW under construction at the end of 2023 being wind and hybrid power stations. 

Renewable energy generation is variable and dependent on the energy source, such as sunlight or wind, being available. At times, peak solar generation can be higher than the required demand. This results in some large-scale renewable power stations, particularly solar, being curtailed. The Q4 2023 QED stated the average quarterly curtailment was 215 MW in Q4 2023. This means renewable capacity is not being used to its full potential. 

Storage is becoming central to maximising renewable output. Batteries can store excess generation and discharge the energy when needed. In 2023, many large and longer-term storage batteries were announced. Projects reaching FID in December 2023 and January 2024 included:

  • AGL Energy Limited with a 500 MW/1,000 megawatt hours (MWh) battery to be located at AGL’s Hunter Energy Hub in NSW
  • Synergy with a 200 MW/800 MWh battery. The Kwinana battery storage system 2 will support the South West Interconnected System (SWIS) in WA
  • Origin Energy with a 300 MW/650 MWh battery to be located at the Mortlake Power Station in Victoria.  

Rapidly shifting policy landscape in 2023

In 2023, there was a substantial change in the policy landscape for renewables, including:

  • Australia joined the global renewables and energy pledge on 3 December 2023. The pledge is to triple the world’s installed renewable energy capacity by 2030 and to double the global average annual rate of energy efficiency improvements. Australia joined at the 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 
  • In November 2023, the Australian Government expanded the Capacity Investment Scheme (CIS) to 32 GW nationally. The CIS covers new renewable energy, storage and other capacity for the grid. The first auction will be held in April to May 2024. Additional projects may reach FID driven by the CIS in 2024. 
  • In December 2023, the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) published the annual climate change statement 2023