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Japan's overbuilt solar market waiting for new dawn

Japan's renewable energy policy resulted in a slew of megasolar construction. But profitability has become an issue now that prices for the energy have fallen.

TOKYO -- A government-policy-driven solar power investment boom in Japan has given way to a bust, tipping panel shipments into decline for the first time in eight years, with no sign of a turnaround.

A feed-in tariff -- in essence, a guaranteed purchase price for output -- for solar power has been cut each year since it was introduced in fiscal 2012 as an incentive for renewable energy investment. It worked too well, fostering an oversupply of generating capacity. Now, panel makers are at a loss for ways to revive demand.

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