1 Juillet 2012
Utilities required to buy renewable energy
Power companies in Japan will have to purchase electricity generated by renewable energy sources.
Starting on Sunday, utilities will be required by law to buy solar, wind and geothermal energy at fixed prices.
The system is part of efforts to promote the use of recyclable energy and reduce dependence on nuclear power.
The prices are set higher than costs for generating such energy. Solar power is about 50 cents per kilowatt hour.
A number of firms have started renewable energy businesses in anticipation of the new system. Some companies launched their concerns on Sunday.
Major regional power companies plan to increase their prices to cover the costs. An average Japanese household is expected to pay an additional 1 to 1 dollar and 40 cents per month.