BEIJING, July 21- China has said it plans to invest 738 billion dollars developing clean energy over the next decade, as part of efforts to reduce the nation\’s heavy reliance on coal and slash carbon emissions.
The five-trillion-yuan investment plan for 2011-2020 is ready for submission to the State Council, or cabinet, for approval, a senior official at the National Energy Administration said Tuesday.
The money will be used to develop alternative energy such as nuclear power, wind and biomass, said Jiang Bing, head of the planning and development department, according to a transcript on the central government\’s website.
Funds will also be used to develop clean coal technology and upgrade existing power grids, he added.
“In 2020, China\’s over-dependence on coal will be greatly reduced” after the plan is implemented, he said.
Beijing announced ahead of climate talks in Copenhagen late last year that it would embark on a major energy efficiency drive to curb growth in its world-leading greenhouse gas emissions.
China now depends on coal for more than 70 percent of its energy needs.
It has set a target of generating 15 percent of its energy from renewable sources — mainly wind and water — by 2020 and cutting carbon dioxide emissions by up to 45 percent by then from the level in 2005.
Jiang said by 2015 the country was expected to cut its reliance on coal to around 63 percent of its energy needs and to boost its use of non-fossil fuels to 11 percent.
China invested 34.6 billion dollars in clean energy in 2009, up more than 50 percent on the previous year — making it the world\’s biggest investor in energy-efficient technology, the United Nations said in May.