Most don't blame renewables for blackout

Elise Scott

Almost two thirds of voters believe a statewide blackout in South Australia was not caused by a reliance on renewable energy, a new poll has found.

And the same amount believe renewable energy is the solution to Australia's future power needs.

An Essential poll released on Tuesday found 60 per cent of voters think the blackout during damaging storms two weeks ago would have occurred regardless of how much power was produced by renewables.

Just 17 per cent believe the state's reliance on clean energy caused the outage.

The poll also found 60 per cent of voters believe renewable energy is "the solution to our energy needs" while 16 per cent believe it's a threat to future power supply.

A political blame game erupted over the blackout, with federal government figures questioning the nation's energy security and accusing state governments of setting unrealistic renewable targets.

Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg called his state and territory counterparts to an emergency COAG meeting in Melbourne last week to discuss energy security.

He wants states to "harmonise" their targets and work towards a national uniform goal.

Mr Frydenberg insists "keeping the lights on" is the government's highest priority and believes some states have ignored energy security in setting politically-motivated targets.

The federal government has a target of about 23 per cent renewables by 2020, while SA already produces more than 40 per cent.

Victoria wants 40 per cent by 2025 and Queensland is aiming for 50 per cent - up from seven per cent now - by 2030.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews accused the prime minister of spouting ignorant rubbish by questioning Labor states' targets.

The COAG energy council meeting agreed to an independent review of the nation's electricity grid.