The big news is Germany announcing it will ban all nuclear plants over the next 11 years. By 2022, Germany will be nuke free. To make up for the shortfall in power, it plans to switch to renewable energy and increase investments in energy research.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has made it clear that the events in Japan were what forced Germany's hand. "The events in Japan have shown us that even things that seem all but impossible scientifically can in fact happen," she said.
Take for example the news coming out of Japan that the levels of radioactive soil near Japan's crippled nuclear plant in Fukushima have reached the same level as Chernobyl, where a "dead zone" remains 25 years after that reactor exploded. That means there will be no recovery in that region and that will drag the rest of the Japanese economy. Germany, the engine of Europe's economy, can't afford that risk.
Significantly, the renewable energy industry in Germany already accounts for 370,000 jobs and that will increase with further investment in that area. That's likely to maintain Germany's dominant economic position.