Last week’s German Coalition agreement produced an agenda which will trim some of the costs and moderate some of the ambition of the Energiewende. What it fails to do is address the fundamental problem that Germany is powered by a mixture of expensive low-carbon renewables and cheap carbon-intensive coal. This policymaking conservatism is the product of a debate on the costs of green energy which cuts across party political lines and is compounded by the politics of the German Grand Coalition. How important are these contradictions? And given Germany’s size and importance, how likely is it that they will be exported into European energy policymaking?
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