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Germany's conservative coalition government, reinstated following October's general election, has made several clear statements promising more support for renewable energy in its official Coalition Agreement. The renewables industry is now anxiously awaiting some action to follow the grand words. Even federal economy minister Günter Rexrodt has promised more than "little plasters" for renewables. Energy policy, as outlined in the agreement, begins encouragingly: "A balanced, diversified energy mix is a precondition for the guarantee of a long-term, secure, reasonably priced, environmentally friendly and resource saving energy supply for the industry-nation Germany." The conventional energy forms must have their place in such an energy mix, "and renewables must be increasingly incorporated." Later this policy is even stressed: "Greater economic use of renewable energies is necessary for reasons of energy, environmental, industrial and development policy. Therefore the legal and administrative framework conditions will be improved and the market introduction and use of renewable energies supported more intensively," states the agreement. It also stresses that an energy policy consensus is being sought between all the major industrial players. Renewables get a mention, too, in the ecology and market economy section of the agreement: "Within the framework of the energy consensus talks, measures for energy saving, in particular improved use of waste heat, increased use of renewable energies and the dismantling of competitive distortions between energy forms should be discussed." Fine words but where's the action?

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