​Solar power now cheaper than coal, Climate Council says

Solar power is cheaper than new fossil fuel and nuclear power, with costs plummeting by almost 60 per cent over the past five years, a Climate Council report has found.

The State of Solar 2016 report, found the solar rollout will continue to go gangbusters, with more than 20 industrial-scale installations set to go ahead across the country this year and another 3700MW in the pipeline.

Climate Councillor and former president of BP Australasia Greg Bourne said solar power is being embraced with its cost predicted to fall by a further 40-70 per cent by 2040.

“We are seeing more and more industrial-scale solar coming online across the country and the world. Hospitals, airports, farms and a variety of other businesses have embraced smarter and cleaner power,” he said.

“The solar surge is well and truly underway, with an extra 3,700 megawatts already in the pipeline – that’s enough power to over 600,000 homes.”

Energy expert Andrew Stock said solar combined with storage technology means that solar power can be available day and night.

“Uptake in household batteries is expected to triple this year, while major industrial scale storage plants are being built in Queensland and Victoria,” he said.

“As extreme weather increasingly threatens our power system, solar increases its resilience by generating power right where it is used.”

Australian homes continue to lead the world in the solar renewables race, with more than 30 per cent of Queensland homes having rooftop solar installed.