According to the second Quarterly Carbon Market Report (QCMR) by the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) in 2023, small-scale consumer-led renewables are showing continued growth but investment in large-scale renewable generation is lacking.
Households and businesses continue to invest in energy efficiency technology. Rooftop solar is tracking to add more than 3GW of new installed capacity to the grid in 2023, with 1.4GW of capacity from almost 160,000 systems already installed this year.
CER CEO and Chair, David Parker, said it was clear that consumers are preparing for an electric future and taking control of their energy usage to save money and reduce their carbon footprint at the same time.
“Australia has among the best solar resources in the world and households and businesses continue to install rooftop solar at world leading rates,” Mr Parker said.
The increased capacity saw the share of renewable electricity rise to over 36 per cent of demand in the National Electricity Market. This is expected to grow to 40 per cent by December.
In addition, an estimated 60,000 new air source heat pumps have been installed so far in 2023 – up 70 per cent compared to the first half of 2022.
In contrast to the uplift in small-scale renewables, Mr Parker said it was a quiet first half of the year for new large-scale renewable energy investment commitments.
“We’ve downgraded our expectations and now expect 2023 investment may not reach 3GW.”
Wind and solar remain the cheapest options for new energy supply. Unfortunately, rising costs for components, engineering and construction combined with strong international demand for these products and services are slowing progress. Finding ways to streamline grid connection and fast-tracking new transmission will also be critical for success.
The latest QCMR confirms that Australia is on track to deliver around 18 million Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs) in 2023.
Mr Parker said that Safeguard entities are continuing to accumulate ACCUs.
“We expect demand for ACCUs to increase as more facilities progressively finalise and implement their compliance strategies in line with the Safeguard rules, including to reduce emissions at source.”
To find out more, read the full Quarterly Carbon Market Report.