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Germany Boosts Clean-Energy Research by 75% to Ease Nuclear Exit

The German government agreed to increase investment in clean-energy technology research by about 75 percent as Europe’s largest power market prepares to exit nuclear generation by 2022.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet will pump 3.4 billion euros ($4.9 billion) into renewables, energy efficiency, energy storage and grid-technology research in the next three years, the Environment Ministry said today in an e-mailed statement.

“We need innovative and efficient energy technologies to make the path into the age of renewable-energy sources safe and affordable,” Economy Minister Philipp Roesler said in the statement.

Merkel said in June she will replace Germany’s 17 reactors with a combination of renewable sources and fossil-fuel-based power plants, after explosions at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear complex stoked safety concerns in Europe’s largest economy.

Germany’s atomic power stations accounted for 23 percent of the nation’s generating capacity last year. The country met 16.8 percent of its electricity needs from renewable sources, and aims to boost that to at least 35 percent in 2020.

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