Social Democrats take on German wind policy

GERMANY: Germany's wind policy has been handed over to the federal economy ministry, following a vote by the Social Democrat Party on setting up a new coalition government with the conservative CDU/CSU parties.

Peter Altmaier... heading to the Chancellor's Office (pic: Campact)

Under the new government, the economy ministry, led by Social Democrat Sigmar Gabriel, will take over renewables from the federal environment ministry.

The previously responsible environment minister, Peter Altmaier (CDU), leaves to head the Chancellor's Office. Altmaier has been held responsible for creating a large amount of uncertainty with his so-called "brake on electricity prices" in the renewables sector.

A former federal environment minister (2005 - 2009), Gabriel is now also second in command as German vice-chancellor behind Angel Merkel of the CDU, who stays at the helm as chancellor.

Gabriel has called Rainer Baake into the economics ministry as secretary of state, who has been involved in renewables policy and development since 1991, when the transition to renewables in Germany began.

Baake was secretary of state in the environment ministry in the period 1998-2005, responsible for the major German projects nuclear phase-out, the renewable energy law, carbon emissions trading and the Kyoto protocol, according to think tank Agora-Energiewende, which he currently heads.