Japan's ambitious plans for a solar-energy renaissance are failing to bear fruit, and the country now looks likely to have to spend $3.5 billion annually on additional coal and gas imports to make up for the shortfall in renewables. Analysts say Japan's attempt to subsidize a swift transition to solar energy backfired, with too little screening of subsidy recipients. "Everybody and his brother and sister were kind of rushing in without any ability," said solar-energy consultant Arthur Mitchell.

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