October 13, 2010 / 2:24 AM / 9 years ago

S.Korea to invest $35.4 bln in renewable energy by 2015

SEOUL, Oct 13 (Reuters) - South Korea will spend 40 trillion won ($35.4 billion) by 2015 in a combined push by the public and private sectors to boost its renewable energy resources, a presidential task force said on Wednesday.

South Korea, the world’s fifth-largest importer of oil and one of the world’s fastest-growing carbon polluters, has been trying to shift away from its dependence on fossil fuels, sharply increasing investment in green resources.

Government investment totalling 7 trillion won over the next five years will be spent on research and development of solar and wind energy technology and equipment, putting in renewable energy systems at public buildings and on overseas marketing.

The private sector has pledged 33 trillion won through 2015 in solar and wind energy development and other green energy resources, the Energy Ministry said in a report to the presidential task force.

“When we look at the rapidly growing global market in this area, we need to cultivate solar and wind energy ... as the backbone of our future national industrial strategy,” President Lee Myung-bak said in a statement.

Previously announced investment plans sought to cut carbon emissions, increase energy efficiency and boost rechargeable battery technology.

The presidential task force projected world renewable energy market will grow to $400 billion by 2015 and reach $1 trillion in 2020 to match the scale of the current global automotive market. ($1=1130.1 Won) (Reporting by Ju-min Park and Jack Kim; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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