German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet agreed on Wednesday to accelerate the construction of 2,800 km of new high-voltage power lines to push forward the country's shift to renewable energy.

However, in a sign of the complexities of formulating energy policy in Europe's biggest power market, two of her ministers said they had failed to agree a common position on a proposed reform of Europe's system of permits to cut carbon emissions.

Under the nationwide grid plans, the new transmission lines will be completed within four years from a previously planned 10 years and cost about 10 billion euros ($13.21 billion).

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