New renewables capacity and carbon units raise bar in 2020
Two records were broken in 2021 with 16 million Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs) issued and 7 gigawatts (GW) of new renewable energy capacity delivered across Australia.
The December Quarter 2020 Quarterly Carbon Market Report was released today by the Clean Energy Regulator showing 2021 saw 7 gigawatts (GW) of new renewable energy capacity delivered across Australia and 16 million Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs) issued.
David Parker, Chair of the Clean Energy Regulator said the continued rapid growth in rooftop solar PV in the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) contributed 3 GW of the new renewable energy capacity, with the remaining 4 GW coming from power station accredited under the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target.
“Sustained low technology costs, increased work from home arrangements and a shift in household spending to home improvements during COVID-19 played a key role in the increase of rooftop solar PV systems under the SRES,” Mr Parker said.
Mr Parker highlighted that the 7 GW of new renewable energy capacity delivered across Australia in 2020 exceeded the Clean Energy Regulator’s original estimate of 6.3 GW.
“Several utility-scale power stations commencing generation and being accredited towards the end of 2020 rather than in early 2021 were the primary drivers for the increase,” Mr Parker said.
The report also confirms Australia has met its Large-scale Renewable Energy Target of 33,000 gigawatt hours (GWh). The Clean Energy Regulator expects eligible generation could reach 40,000 GWh in 2021.
Australia has added on average more than 6 GW of renewable capacity each year since 2018. This level of investment is expected to continue through to 2022, reshaping Australia’s electricity sector.
“It comes as no surprise that total renewable generation in the National Electricity Market (NEM) has climbed to over 30% at the end of 2020, up 5% compared to the previous year.” Mr Parker said.
2020 also saw a record 16 million ACCUs issued owing to a 25% increase in crediting for savanna burning and 17% increase in crediting for vegetation projects.
“This was an 8% rise from 2019, a trend we are expecting to continue in 2021.” Mr Parker said.