Australia is embracing its image as the sunburnt country, with a whopping 2.6 million Aussies now using the sun to power their homes.

With the cost of buying solar photovoltaic systems cheaper than ever, householders have been in a frenzy installing more than one million panels on roofs across the country.

"A revolution that nobody expected has occurred over the last four years in solar," the head of the Climate Commission Professor Tim Flannery told AAP on Monday.

The rapid uptake of solar has stunned energy observers and well eclipsed the government's forecasts, and raised questions about how far it could go.

In a new report, The Climate Commission predicts solar could be providing a third of the Australia's total energy needs by 2050.

A massive boom in solar investment from China has seen production costs for panels plunge by 80 per cent in four years, creating huge opportunities for installers back home.

There were 16,700 full time jobs in the PV industry in 2012, as hundreds of thousands of homeowners pounced on the chance for cheaper power bills.

Prof Flannery said suburbs with a high concentration of mortgages, particularly in Queensland, had embraced rooftop solar, as had people on fixed incomes like pensioners and retirees.

"They understand that solar is cost competitive now," he said.

"You make the investment up front and you don't have those electricity bills that seem to rise year on year."

As the world's sunniest continent with huge experience in solar technology, it was no accident Australia was reaping the rewards.

Australian scientists were "solar pioneers", with CSIRO patenting the first solar hot-water system in 1941 and continuing to play a leading role in developing technology breakthroughs.

Gone are the days when solar went to bed at night, with better grid management meaning energy can be called on day or night.

Prof Flannery said at the rate things are going, electricity bills could become an "ancient memory".

"I can see the day when you'll buy a solar capacity on your house, no one will have to pay electricity bills anymore, it will just be part of your household furniture," he said.

He said household solar was already helping drive down pollution, but the expansion of large-scale solar thermal plants - which provide continuous power 24/7 - could have an even more profound impact.

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