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'Protect our children's future' with coal exit by 2030

Australia is being urged to "seize the decade" by rapidly closing coal-fired power plants and more than doubling the number of rooftops turning sunshine into energy.

A report issued on Wednesday by the independent Climate Council charts a course for the economy to prosper as the world decarbonises.

Using proven and available technologies, Australia could close all coal-fired power plants and slash climate pollution by three quarters (75 per cent) this decade - and keep the lights on.

"There can be no excuses for failing to protect our children's future," Climate Council chief executive Amanda McKenzie said.


"We can seize the decade and drive down climate pollution by electrifying our nation and building out a modern industrial base that underpins our prosperity for generations to come."

The federal government has set a target of 82 per cent renewable energy in the national energy market by 2030 but experts warn it risks failure at the current pace of investment.

By supercharging solar, wind and big batteries to build a bigger electricity system, the report says Australia could reach 94 per cent renewable energy in the grid by 2030.

Putting solar panels on the rooftops of two in three Australian homes (24 gigawatts) would also drive down the costs of living, the modelling shows.

A residential rooftop solar unit
One in three families in Australia already have solar panels on their roof. (Lukas Coch/AAP PHOTOS)

Chair of Parents for Climate Harriet Fesq said she worries about the consequences for her children of burning more coal, oil and gas.

"Making deep and lasting cuts to climate pollution now means our kids breathe easier, have better health outcomes and work in good, long-term jobs," Dr Fesq said.

Using clean energy and readily-available alternatives for industrial processes, the report said Australia could cut the industrial use of gas by almost a third (31 per cent), coal by almost half (41 per cent), and oil by 86 per cent.

Making new buildings all-electric, electrifying existing homes and businesses and upgrading their energy efficiency are also recommended.

Coal power plants are closing earlier than planned and people are electrifying their homes at a faster rate, official data from the Australian Energy Market Operator shows.

Record solar energy is helping to cut wholesale electricity prices, as the benefits spread beyond individual households to support the entire network.

One in three families already have solar panels on their roof and renewable energy sources overall account for 40 per cent of electricity needs.

"Australia has come a long way ... We're on the right path, now we need to accelerate along it," energy expert Tim Nelson said.