CEC finds utility scale financial commitments fall short of target in 2023


The Clean Energy Council’s (CEC) annual Clean Energy Australia report says new capacity from fourteen large-scale solar projects commissioned in 2023 was up 55% from 841 MW in 2022 to 1.9 GW, bringing total utility-scale solar generation to 14.8 GWh. The report was released today.

The number of utility-scale solar projects that commenced construction, however, dropped from 10 in 2022 to seven in 2023 and saw a 39% decline in capacity, from 1.5 GW in 2022 to 912 MW in 2023. If hybrid projects with solar generation are included, the total increases 11 projects worth some 1.3 GW of capacity.

Of most concern in the report was the 39% fall in financial commitments to large-scale solar projects from $1.5 billion in 2022 to $912 million – prompting Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton to say the significant downturn in investment, particularly in large-scale generation projects, remains an issue for the sector.

The steady increase of big PV to Australia’s electricity network has continued. Large-scale solar contributed 15.9% of Australia’s 39.4% overall renewable generation in 2023, up from 14% in 2022, and accounts for 6.3% of all electricity generation, up from 5% in 2022.


Long-duration storage projects in 2023 attracted $4.9 billion of investment across 27 utility-scale batteries under construction, up from $1.9 billion investment in 19 utility-scale batteries at the end of 2022.

Batteries under construction in 2023 account for a total of 5 GW / 11 GWh combined capacity, up from 1.4 GW / 2 GWh of capacity in 2022.

“We are more determined than ever to continue to build and maintain the strong investment in our clean energy future that we need, overcome the barriers holding back a substantial pipeline of new opportunities and navigate the most consequential transformation of Australia’s economy in a generation,” Thornton said.

He said there is hope the Government’s expansion of the Capacity Investment Scheme will help bring on the kind of investment Australia needs in order to meet its targets.

“The Australian Government’s supporting an additional 23 GW of new renewable electricity generation capacity between 2024 and 2027 and a further 9 GW of dispatchable capacity, is a boost to investment.

“However, there will need to be urgent and careful policy design undertaken in the first half of 2024 to ensure the program realises its critical objective to turbocharge private investment in the coming years,” he said.

Rooftop solar

The report applauds the rooftop solar sector, which added 3.1 GW of new capacity from 337,498 households and small businesses, up from 2.7 GW in 2022 from 315,499 installations, taking the total rooftop solar systems installed in Australia to 3.7 million.

Rooftop solar capacity surpassed the utility scale segment, which came in at 2.8 GW including wind.

“Rooftop solar accounted for 28.5% of all renewable generation nationally over the past year. This is a testament to its success in driving additional value and lowering energy bills for over one in three Australian households and small businesses,” Thornton said.

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