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Japan Kills Solar Power, Paves Way For Return To Nuclear Energy

On the second anniversary of a scheme aimed at boosting Japan’s renewable energy after the Fukushima crisis, its powerful industry ministry is taking steps critics say will choke off solar investment and pave the way for a return to nuclear power.

Japan’s ambitious plans for solar in the past two years — if they were to come on stream — could allow the country to surpass Germany as the world’s biggest consumer of solar power.

But the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has cut tariffs for solar power by a fifth in the two years and has imposed time limits on installations, arguing solar costs have fallen and projects are running late, with only 13 percent of approved projects actually installed and operating.

Solar industry participants say METI’s actions mean it does not make commercial sense to invest in the renewables sector.

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