China is planning to invest CNY2.5 trillion ($361bn) in the renewable energy sector by 2020 in an attempt to substitute its coal usage with cleaner alternatives.

Reuters cited a blueprint document created by China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), which said investments in renewable fuel are expected to create more than 13 million jobs in the next five years.

Further details about where the investment is planned to be spent have not been disclosed.

"The government may exceed these targets because there are more investment opportunities in the sector as costs go down."

The investment plan follows a five-year plan (2016-2020) issued the State Council to save energy and reduce emissions, with a goal to decrease energy consumption by 15% in 2020, compared with 2015.

NEA plans to reduce dependence on coal as an energy source and expects its usage to account for less than 58% of total energy consumption in 2020. It also aims to encourage more efficient use of coal with gas as its replacement.

Shenyin Wanguo renewable analyst was quoted by the news agency as saying: “The government may exceed these targets because there are more investment opportunities in the sector as costs go down.”

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Recently, the northern parts of China were severely affected by air pollution including the capital, Beijing.