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COAG energy review a 'breakthrough'

AAP logoAAP 6/10/2016 Kaitlyn Offer

An independent review to create a blueprint for Australia's energy security has been given the go-ahead by the nation's energy ministers.

Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg described Friday's emergency COAG energy council meeting as "extremely constructive" and a "breakthrough" in the national energy security discussion.

The meeting was called following a statewide blackout in South Australia during a damaging storm that downed transmission lines last week.

Chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel will lead the review with two deputies yet to be decided on.

The review will "create and develop a blueprint for energy security across the National Electricity Market," Mr Frydenberg said.

A preliminary report will be prepared for the December COAG energy council meeting before going to the leaders meeting and a final report will be delivered early in the new year.

The review was agreed on during a two-hour, ministers-only breakfast meeting before the council meeting with energy experts.

Mr Fyrdenberg said the SA blackout was "a wake-up call" for the ministers to respond collectively on energy security.

There had been a war of words between the federal government and some of the states over renewable energy before Friday's meeting.

Mr Frydenberg and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had criticised the renewable energy targets of Labor states for creating instability in the power grid.

But by the end of Friday, the states seemed happy with the decision on a national review.

"This is the first step to getting the commonwealth government back into the important work of integrating energy policy and climate policy," South Australia's Tom Koutsantonis said.

Victoria's energy minister Lily D'Ambrosio said her government would keep its renewable target in place.

She had called the meeting a "stunt" on Thursday.

"Whilst I would say it was not a waste of time, the reality is what we dealt with today was effectively progress reports on significant and robust work programs ... that previous COAG energy council meetings already commenced," Ms D'Ambrosio said.

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