Renewables can and will eventually replace coal, that is a GoodThing(TM), sure they have an ecological footprint but (like nuclear power) it's virtually zero compared to coal. The question isn't nukes vs solar, the question is what combination of current technologies will replace coal's market dominance, current nuclear technologies cannot do this alone for several reasons, expense, limited fuel reserves, plain old fear. Solar is now significantly cheaper and certainly much cleaner than imported brown coal, which is why India has embarked on a solar project to supply power to 400M people (40% of the population).
Replacing coal sounds like a massive task but consider that every coal plant on the planet was built during my lifetime, some were even built and rebuilt. The economics is such that I'm now confident they will be replaced with solar/wind farms in the next 50yrs. The hydro dams are already in place and there aren't many suitable sites left for new ones. All forms of power generation must match supply to demand on the grid, ie: they need a buffer to be able to match the "wavy" demand curve of a typical city. Coal produces a flat supply curve (so called "base load"), it already uses the existing dams as giant batteries by pumping water uphill during off-peak times and pulling it back onto the grid during peak times. As renewables start replacing coal why would they not also use the existing hydro infrastructure to similar effect?