Climate of hope in sun and wind

THEY account for less than 4 per cent of electricity generation, but solar and wind could be cheaper than coal by 2030, according to the Climate Commission.

The chief commissioner, Tim Flannery, said rooftop solar panels may already be cheaper than conventional electricity in areas with high power prices, such as south-west Western Australia, and some regional areas.

Solar generates about 0.3 per cent of the nation's electricity and Professor Flannery said the industry was set to boom as costs fell and markets expanded.

''If you had looked at the penetration of mobile phones into the market 15 years ago you would have seen a similar sort of thing,'' he said.

The Generating a Renewable Australia report will be launched in Sydney on Monday by Professor Flannery and fellow climate commissioner Veena Sahajwalla.

Vince Chadwick

This story Climate of hope in sun and wind first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.