Given Merkel’s penchant for blowing with the political winds and the German public’s Wutbürger politics, we should expect German energy policies to continue to be anything but stable. Germany’s energy policies have gone from potentially world-leading to incoherent in the blink of an eye. But perhaps part of the problem here is the tendency for analysts, me included, to see short-term change without fully appreciating the larger context. German democracy may presently be incapable of implementing a sensible energy policy. Regardless of Germany’s domestic politics, its efforts to rapidly ramp up renewables — if they actually stick as policies — will nonetheless provide a worthwhile laboratory for what is technologically possible, and thus bears close watching.
Looking at the big picture, the question now I suppose is how long must we wait until the next German energy policy U-turn?