Australia leads world in rooftop solar as share of renewables jumps to 35%

Australia has set renewable energy records for the fifth year in a row with more than one in four households now generating power on their roofs. 

Renewable energy delivered nearly a third (32.2 per cent) of the electricity in the National Electricity Market in 2021, jumping up to 35.8 per cent in the final quarter of the year. 

In 2021 total generation from all renewable sources across Australia rose 23 per cent compared to 2020, to deliver 72.5 terawatt hours. 

2021 was the fifth record-breaking year in a row for rooftop solar as Australians installed approximately 380,000 new systems with a combined capacity of 3.2 gigawatts. 

This brings the total to 17 gigawatts – a virtual power station comprising more than 3 million rooftops – as the largest generator in Australia. 

2.9 gigawatts of new large-scale wind and solar power stations were committed in 2021 – this includes Australia’s largest wind farm, the MacIntyre Wind Farm in Queensland. This continues an upward trend in renewable energy investment over the past two years. 

The Clean Energy Regulator expects the first half of this year will also be very strong for new announcements and construction beginning on major projects.  

Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said continuing investment in more renewable energy has cemented our place as world leaders in bringing down emissions.

“Last year $7.4 billion or $284 per person was invested in renewable energy in Australia. This puts us ahead of countries including Canada, Germany, Japan, France, China and the United States on a per person basis,” Minister Taylor said.

“As record high levels of renewable energy come online, the Morrison Government’s energy policy is focused on three things: ensuring the grid is stable; prices remain low; and emissions continue to come down. The key to this is balance between renewables and on-demand reliable power.

“That’s why the Government has taken decisive action to support the Tallawarra B gas generator and Port Kembla gas project and we are stepping up to deliver Snowy Hydro’s Hunter Power Project at Kurri Kurri in the Hunter Valley.

“We are also prioritising work on a new fit-for-purpose market design, including a capacity mechanism and delivering flexible backup generation and storage such as the 2000 MW pumped hydro expansion of the Snowy Hydro scheme which is needed to balance and complement very high levels of intermittent renewables. 

“The Morrison Government has also committed more than half a billion dollars to support major transmission projects that will enable new renewable generation. These include the Marinus Link needed to turn Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation vision into reality and Project Energy Connect and VNI West that will build new interconnectors between South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria.

“Labor can’t be trusted to keep the lights on and power prices low. Last time Labor was in government energy prices doubled. Labor still has no plan for large-scale on-demand, reliable power.”

The Morrison Government’s plan is working.  

  • The ACCC’s latest report shows electricity costs for households are now at their lowest levels in eight years.  
  • In the past two years alone, the ACCC has found power costs have dropped 8 per cent for households – that's a $128 a year saving for consumers.   
  • For small businesses, the average cost has fallen by 10 per cent over the past two years and for large business customers, costs have fallen by 12 per cent over the same period. 
  • On top of this, an Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) report released in November shows household electricity bills across the national electricity market will continue to fall by a further nearly 6 per cent on average over the next few years. This means, depending on where you live, families could be a further $126 better off. 

The Morrison Government is focused on delivering affordable, reliable and secure electricity for Australian households and businesses. This is central to our ongoing economic recovery and will support jobs, productivity and economic growth.    

Media contact: 

Minister Taylor's office 02 6277 7120