Posted with permission from Newsweek

Time-lapse of Beijing Being Engulfed By Smog

China will invest 2.5 trillion yuan ($360 billion) into renewable power projects by 2020 as the world’s largest consumer of energy starts to move away from coal.

The National Energy Administration (NEA) said Thursday that the investment would help create more than 13 million jobs in the industry, Reuters reported.

The planned shift towards wind, solar, hydroelectric and geothermal sources of power comes as Chinese cities, including the capital Beijing, are affected by severe pollution.

China issued its first-ever national red alert for smog this week.

The five-year plan follows last month’s announcement by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), which manages the Chinese economy, that 1 trillion yuan ($145 billion) would be invested to increase China’s solar capacity five-fold by 2020.

The NDRC also committed 700 billion yuan ($100 billion) to wind farms, while 500 billion yuan ($73 billion) will go towards hydroelectric and tidal sources of energy.

Despite the levels of investment, the NEA said Thursday that renewables will contribute just 15 percent of Chinese energy consumption by 2020.