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How Britain beat Germany in the race for green energy

What has emerged in the UK is a fast-moving, high-tech, corporate energy transition—but the old dream of a decentralised and democratic system lives on

By Adam Tooze   Winter Special

Environmental protesters pictured chained outside the Grace Gates at Lord's cricket ground in central London for a demonstration against carbon emissions. The cricket ground is the venue for the Coal UK Conference 2008.

In the UK there is now considerable euphoria around decarbonisation. This is, to say the least, a surprise. In the 19th century Britain led the world into the era of fossil fuels, and as recently as 10 years ago it lagged far behind in the energy transition compared to other large European countries. Way back in the 1970s, France had gone the…

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