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Europe waits on Germany

Despite being a leader in renewables, the country can't kick its coal habit

Ireland has just become the 11th European country to pledge the phase-out of coal-fired power, boosting prospects for increased use of natural gas to complement renewables. The pressure is on Germany, which consumes more coal than these 11 countries combined, to do something similar—but the wait for concrete moves from Berlin goes on. Admissions of failure don't come much bigger than the acknowledgement by Germany's incoming "grand coalition" government that the nation's 2020 carbon emissions target will not be met. No country in Europe has done more to promote the uptake of renewable energies—a policy so entrenched and well-publicised that the German word for "energy transition", Energiewe

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