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Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s Cabinet endorsed planned legislation to offer ¥100 billion in low-interest loans to developers of electric cars and solar and nuclear power.

The government will offer financing at rates about 0.2 to 0.3 percentage point lower than ordinary commercial loans to developers of photovoltaic cells, lithium-ion rechargeable batteries and nuclear reactors, Tetsuya Hamabe, director of the trade ministry’s industrial finance division, told reporters Friday.

The government wants to speed the development of next-generation clean energy technology amid an intensifying global race to capture the biggest share of the market for less-polluting power generators and vehicles.

From the fiscal year starting April 1, ¥100 billion will be offered, and that figure should expand to several hundred billion in the coming years, Hamabe said. The loans will help create jobs and achieve sustainable economic growth, he added.

The bill will be submitted to the ordinary Diet session running through the middle of June. The ministries of trade, agriculture and transportation will decide who is eligible if the legislation is passed, Hamabe said.

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