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Germany's 'Energiewende architect' leaves energy ministry

GERMANY: Following talks by coalition partners in Germany's new government, the country's energy minister Rainer Baake has left his role.

Rainer Baake said the coalition agreement was "much too hesitant" on renewable energy policies
Rainer Baake said the coalition agreement was "much too hesitant" on renewable energy policies

Green party member Baake — often described as the "architect of Germany's Energiewende" — decided to leave his post as permanent secretary for energy at the federal economy and energy ministry, casting a dim light on future energy policy now that Germany's new "grand coalition" government is, at last, poised to take up office.

The Social Democrat Party (SPD) voted in favour of a renewal of the partnership with the conservative CDU/CSU parties, following a general election in September, which resulted in no clear winner. 

Continuation of the political partnership is based on a coalition agreement clinched in February, which stated renewables expansion must be "significantly increased" to meet rising electricity demand to reach climate protection targets in the transport, building and industry sectors.

But Baake described the agreement — widely cited from his request to be released from the office he has held since 2014 — as "a bitter disappointment for the sectors, Energiewende and climate protection".

The transition from fossil fuels to greater efficiency and renewable energies is "much too hesitant" undermining international credibility of the Energiewende, he added.

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