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NSW Climate and Energy Action

Renewable energy in NSW

The energy sector is undergoing a transformation. The share of renewable energy in our electricity supply mix is continuing to grow and play a critical role in helping us reduce our emissions. 

NSW now has approximately 13,500 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy generation capacity, which is around 53% of total generation capacity in our state. 

This includes generation from 

  • large scale and rooftop solar  
  • hydro power stations 
  • wind power stations 
  • biomass power stations. 

Renewable energy is now the cheapest form of new power generation in Australia, which helps place downward pressure on electricity prices. 

The renewable energy boom in NSW 

Over the past 5 years the share of wind and solar in the NSW electricity generation mix has more than tripled.  

This includes: 

  • Almost 800,000 households and small businesses with small-scale solar, which is more than 1 in 4 houses  
  • 16 major wind farms, with a total capacity of over 1800 MW 
  • 24 major large-scale solar farms, with a total capacity of over 1900 MW 
  • Almost 200 large scale renewable energy projects totalling almost 35,400 MW in our planning system, representing almost $50 billion in investment. 

This growth in renewable energy has been assisted by the NSW Government’s Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap, our plan to transform our electricity system into one that is cheap, clean and reliable. 

A changing energy system

The traditional, one-way energy system, supplied mostly by large, centralised coal and gas-fired power stations, is changing. We are moving towards a two-way energy system. 

More households and businesses are installing their own rooftop solar power systems and exporting energy back to the grid. Communities are looking to new local renewable energy technologies and models, like trading energy and sharing solar energy with their neighbours, which can help reduce energy bills and stabilise the grid. Electric vehicles – which both use and store energy – are becoming increasingly common. 

Modern energy system infographic

As more renewable energy comes online, the challenge will be to provide an electricity supply that is affordable, secure and reliable. The grid will need more ‘dispatchable’ generation and energy storage, such as pumped hydro energy and batteries.  

This will help to make sure supply is available when it is needed. Managing demand by identifying non-critical uses will also smooth peaks in energy demand.   

NSW has rich renewable energy resources and a strong pipeline of investor interest in new renewable energy projects. 

The NSW Government is also unlocking opportunities for more private-sector investment in renewable energy and dispatchable supply to ensure adequate supplies well into the future. 

To support the transition to modern energy future, we have: