A NSW Government website

Renewable energy

Helping to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and ensuring a secure, affordable electricity supply

The NSW Government is proposing a new policy framework for the assessment of large-scale solar and wind energy development and transmission infrastructure in NSW.

Proposed new energy policy framework

We’re working on a new energy policy framework to provide clarity and transparency about how renewable energy developments are assessed and managed.

The framework was on public exhibition from 14 November 2023 to 29 January 2024. You can still view the draft energy policy framework on the NSW Planning Portal.

We are currently considering all feedback and aim to finalise the framework later this year.

When finalised, the framework will support faster and more consistent development decisions and provide greater investment certainty to the energy industry. It will also ensure communities benefit from renewable energy development and have more transparency and clarity about where and how development occurs.

Independent Expert Advisory Panel - Energy Transition

The Independent Expert Advisory Panel for Energy Transition has been established to give NSW Planning and the Independent Planning Commission of NSW (IPC) access to world's-best scientific advice when we assess energy projects related to the NSW Renewable Energy Zones under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

Current assessment framework

The NSW Government has introduced a tiered approvals regime for renewable energy systems, to ensure the level of assessment is appropriately tailored to the scale and type of the system. Renewable energy proposals are considered under different parts of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 as outlined below.

Large-scale renewable energy proposals

Under State Environmental Planning Policy (Planning Systems) 2021, electricity generating works including renewable energy proposals such as wind energy projects or solar farms with a capital cost of more than $30 million (or $10 million in an environmentally sensitive area) are considered to be State Significant Development under Part 4 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

Small-scale renewable energy proposals

Under State Environmental Planning Policy (Transport and Infrastructure) 2021 (T&I SEPP), there are a range of assessment pathways for small-scale renewable energy proposals, which are tailored to the size, location and level of environmental impact of the proposal.

Small-scale renewable energy systems covered by the T&I SEPP include photovoltaic systems, solar hot water systems, solar air heating systems, small wind turbine systems and wind monitoring towers. Additional provisions may be included in the relevant local council’s Local Environmental Plan (LEP) and/or Development Control Plan (DCP).

Contact us for further information.


The NSW government supports the development of the hydrogen industry and recognises its potential as a clean, renewable and reliable source of green energy, alternate fuel and industrial feedstock.

In October 2021 the NSW Government released the NSW Hydrogen Strategy. The strategy aims to support investment and lower hydrogen production costs to enable a rapid expansion of a new hydrogen industry.

Adopting hydrogen technologies will help meet the NSW Government’s commitment for net zero emissions by 2050.

Hydrogen Guideline

The Hydrogen Guideline (PDF, 727 KB) supports the implementation of the NSW Hydrogen Strategy. It provides industry, regulators and the community with information on how the planning system can facilitate the development of the hydrogen sector in NSW.

Solar energy

The transformation of the global energy sector is a huge opportunity for Australia. Renewables are now the cheapest form of new energy generation, and technology is becoming increasingly available to support large-scale energy storage.

The NSW Government supports the development of a sustainable solar energy industry in the state. Solar energy will help reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, cut air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and give the people of NSW a reliable and affordable energy supply.

Large-Scale Solar Energy Guideline

The Large-Scale Solar Energy Guideline gives the community, industry and regulators certainty about the planning framework for the assessment and approval of such projects. 

The guideline gives advice on a range of assessment matters including the visual impacts of projects and agricultural land use. It ensures the assessment of projects continues to be transparent, consistent and supported by the best available information.

We revised the guideline in 2022 based on extensive consultation. To find out more or to read the submissions, please visit our NSW Planning Portal.

The technical supplement offers guidance and tools for assessing, evaluating and mitigating the landscape and visual impacts of projects.

The guideline is currently being revised to align with the benefit sharing and decommissioning changes proposed as part of the draft energy policy framework. You can read the revised guideline on the NSW Planning Portal.

Wind energy

The wind energy guideline and supporting technical bulletins were published in 2016.

We’re proposing revisions to the guideline as part of the draft energy policy framework. These revisions will help us better manage visual impacts, decommissioning and other emerging issues.  You can read the proposed new guideline on the NSW Planning Portal.