Japan's government has officially decided to introduce a system to require power companies to buy electricity generated by not only solar panels but also windmills and water power.
The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry made the decision at a meeting with outside experts on Friday.
Under the new system, power companies will be obliged to buy all surplus electricity generated by solar panels installed both at households and corporate buildings.
The ministry says renewable energy produced by windmills and water power will also be covered by the scheme.
It says costs to realize the system will be passed on to customers, and estimates that a family of 4 will be charged up to 200 yen, or roughly 2 dollars, over 10 years.
The ministry plans to flesh out the program this year and put it into practice as soon as 2011.