Energy data

energy-theme-teal

Renewables

Renewable energy sources accounted for 9% of Australian energy consumption in 2021-22.

Renewable electricity generation has more than doubled over the last decade, but combustion of biomass such as firewood and bagasse (the remnant sugar cane pulp left after crushing) still constitutes about a third of all renewable energy consumption in Australia.

 

2021–22 PJ

2021–22 share

(per cent)

2021–22 growth

(per cent)

10 year

average annual growth

(per cent)

Biomass total

171.0

33.4

-1.5

0.2

Biomass - wood and other (refer to notes below)

86.6

16.9

1.1

0.4

Biomass – bagasse

84.4

16.5

-4.0

0.0

Municipal and industrial waste

4.7

0.9

1.0

na

Biogas total

18.5

3.6

4.9

2.0

Biogas - landfill gas

13.9

2.7

5.3

na

Biogas - other biogas

4.6

0.9

3.8

na

Biofuels total

6.1

1.2

-1.8

-7.0

Biofuels – ethanol

4.8

0.9

-2.2

na

Biofuels – biodiesel

0.2

0.0

33.1

na

Biofuels - other liquid biofuels

1.2

0.2

-3.6

na

Wind

104.8

20.4

18.6

15.4

Hydro

61.2

11.9

11.9

1.9

Solar PV

124.9

24.4

25.1

29.8

Solar hot water

21.3

4.2

8.4

5.6

Total

512.5

100.0

10.3

5.7

Notes:  includes wood waste, charcoal, sulphite lyes and other biomass

na – not available

Source: Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (2022) Australian Energy Statistics, Table R

 

In 2022, 32% of Australia’s total electricity generation was from renewable energy sources, including solar (14%), wind (11%) and hydro (6%). The share of renewables in total electricity generation in 2022 was the highest on record, a share 1 percentage point higher than the earlier 2021-22 financial year. The historical peak of renewables share of total generation was 26% in the mid-1960s as the Snowy Mountains hydroelectric scheme came progressively online.

Solar and wind have been the primary drivers in more than doubling renewable generation expansion over the last decade. Small-scale solar generation grew 18% in 2022, and by an average of 22% per year since 2015. Wind generation grew 11% in 2022 and by an average of 14% per year since 2015. Hydro power output has fluctuated around a fairly consistent level according to rainfall and market conditions, losing predominance as generation sources diversified.

Recently, large-scale solar generation has begun rapid expansion. Large-scale solar generation has grown from negligible levels before 2016 to 5% of all Australian electricity generation in 2022, representing a five-year growth rate of 1,573%.

Australian electricity generation from renewable sources

A stacked area chart of renewable generation. Hydro was historically nearly all renewable generation and has remained at fairly flat generation levels. Solar and wind have grown strongly since 2000 to each overtake hydro power. Wind grew first and then solar caught up and overtook it recently. Bioenergy generation has remained smaller and relatively stable.