Energy Usage and Renewable Energy in Hong Kong

Modified: 6th Jul 2023
Wordcount: 2222 words

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There is a raising concern of extreme weather, flooding, draught that happening more frequently in these decades. The main reason that lead to the undesired weather is the climate change caused by the increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emission. The growing number of GHG in the environment obstructs the break of the infrared radiation out of the air. This raises worldwide temperature and henceforth environmental change result. Information from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report in 2014 demonstrates that discharges of CO2, one of the GHG, from petroleum product ignition and mechanical procedures added to 78% of the all-out GHG outflows increment from 1970 to 2010. This mirrors the earnestness of petroleum derivative ignition on environmental change. Along these lines, in this report, the vitality sources and its use in Hong Kong, the extraordinary authoritative district of China, will be talked about. Till the end, to what degree are Hong Kong arranged for environmental change will likewise be dissected.

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Fossil fuel, namely petroleum, natural gas and coal, the potential energy stored within can be withdrawn by burning them in respective power plants. The energy is the fundamental to support humanity activities, support domestic activities, support business development, provide power to vehicle, so on and so forth. Aside from the bright side that utilizing the energy, undesired impact brought by the fuel is making the environment unpleasant to live in. With this in mind, a statistics mirrored that electricity generation is the largest source of local GHG emission (mainly in the form of CO2), accounting for about 68% of the total in 2015. About 90% of Hong Kong’s electricity is related to our 42,000 buildings, in other words, 61% of Hong Kong GHG emission is contributed by the building sector. Transport is the second greatest source, which account for 17% of Hong Kong GHG emission, and it is by cause of the fuel usage for vehicles. For the rest of the emission, they include waste treatment (5%), industrial process (4%).

According to a report conducted by the Environment Bureau of HKSAR Government in 2015, in the year 2012, coal accounts for 53% of energy supply, follow by nuclear 23%, natural gas 22% and renewable energy 2%. It reflected the truth that the majority of Hong Kong energy supply relies on a non-renewable and unclean energy source. In the hope of compiling the terms of the Paris Agreement, the government has set a mission, the Hong Kong’s Climate Action Plan 2030+, to reduce carbon intensity by 65% to 70% while benchmarking with the data of 2005.

The urgent demand of climate action

Hong Kong individuals consume much more per individual than in numerous different nations. All that we do in our day by day lives, from purchasing garments, to turning on lights and going on board, expends the world’s regular assets. The proportion of this utilization of the inexhaustible regular assets is called our Ecological Footprint. In year 2016, WWF had conducted a survey showing that Hong Kong’s ecological footprint per capita has reached a historic peak, which is the second largest in Asia, and 17th in the globe. It also shows the fact that if the entire world shares the living style as Hong Kong people do, approximately 3.9 earths is needed to meet the demands on nature. Unsustainable utilization practice is one of the real supporters of an unnatural weather change and over-abuse of species.

As far as a littler scale, as per the Hong Kong Observatory, our normal temperature has expanded by 0.12 oC every decade from 1885 to 2017. In addition, the quantity of hot (day with temperature of 33 oC or above) has expanded from 8 days in 1884 to 29 days in 2018. This up surging number mirrors the issue of an Earth-wide temperature boost.

Current local action

As mentioned above, the building sector accounts for the greatest proportion of GHG emission in Hong Kong. Due to the fact that some buildings in Hong Kong fall short of proper energy management, energy in those building is being used unnecessarily. To improve building energy efficiency, the Hong Kong Government planned a Buildings Energy Efficiency Ordinance which was passed by the Legislative Council in November 2010. Under the Ordinance, certain recommended sorts of structures need to agree to Building Energy Code (BEC) or potentially Energy Audit Code (EAC). The Ordinance came into full task on 21 September 2012.

Under the Ordinance, building administrations establishments including electrical, cooling, lighting and lift and elevator establishments in recently built structures are required to meet the base vitality proficiency benchmarks and prerequisites as indicated in the Code of Practice for Energy Efficiency of Building Services Installation. Existing structures will likewise be required to follow the prerequisite while experiencing major retrofitting works. The norms stipulated in the Code, which was distributed in February 2012 are more stringent than those in the last form proclaimed in 2007, which have been actualized on an intentional premise. A large portion of the new guidelines are tantamount to those received in the US, Europe and the Asia-Pacific locale, while a few principles are not indicated in abroad wards.

Moreover, the focal structure administrations establishments of business structures and business parts of composite structures are required to do vitality reviews as per the Code of Practice for Building Energy Audit at regular intervals, and the outcomes must be shown in an obvious position at the principle passageway of the structures worried for open investigation.

Aside from cutting down unnecessary energy usage, the local power generation company, China Light and Power Company (CLP) and Hong Kong Electric have also introduced a feed-in tariff (FIT) program to promote the use of renewable energy in citizen level.

Figure 1. Illustration of the feed-in tariff scheme

Residential customers and business customers can install renewable energy equipment like solar panel, wind turbine system up to power generation capacity of 1MW, as long as they are connected to either one of the utility companies. The

FIT scheme, the individuals or companies that have installed the renewable energy facilities, are allowed to sell the electricity generated back to the power grid at a rate higher than the market rate based on the power capacity.  In no doubt, it would encourage the public to take the initiative to install the renewable energy as the FIT increase the economic incentive and shorten the payback period of the investment.

Like other metropolis in the world, Hong Kong has a serious problem of waste. Despite the work of recycling and waste reduction, in year 2012, there were some 9,278 tonnes of MSW disposed of at landfills each day. Of these, about 3,337 tonnes (36%) were food waste, constituting the largest MSW category being landfilled.

In order to ease the problems of waste and sludge in the city, two waste-to-power facilities are being built, the T-park and IWMF.

The difference between the two waste-to-power plant and traditional coal power plant is that there are various cutting edge contamination controls set up. That incorporates a baghouse to catch particulate issue, (for example, mercury), carbon infusions to assimilate overwhelming metals, dioxins and furans, and the expansion of lime to kill corrosive gases. PC frameworks intently screen toxin levels to ensure they stay as low as could be expected under the circumstances. Meanwhile, the waste-to-power plant can make use of the greenhouse gases, methan for instance, to consume as energy sources instead of being release to the atmosphere to intensify the global warming.

Fig 2. The illustration of sludge treatment process in T-park

Potential Climate Action

Due to the fact that technologies available of renewable energy and improvement of energy usage is limited, for the potential climate action to execute in the future will be policy regulation of the government.

As mentioned above, the city is an amateur in the feed-in-tariff solution, to utilize the technology and take advantage of the solution. The government should deliberate with the utility companies to confirm a easy-to-follow guidelines of the application process, as consequence, the society will get a clear guidelines on the implementation.  Aside from giving clear instruction, financial incentive will also boost the implementation dramatically. Currently, the interested individuals have to pay for the solar panels on their own and the one-time payment is stopping some interested individuals to install the panels. If the government can provide any form of financial incentives, for instance, tax reduction, loan or even granting the citizen to implement the plans.

Figure 3. Frequency of perceived barriers to PV in Hong Kong

According to a research of barriers to adopting solar photovoltaic systems in Hong Kong. It states that for residential investors, one of the most common problems encountered is the technical and environmental challenge.

The environmental challenge they are facing is that the Hong Kong citizen living in detached houses tend to utilize their rooftop for entertainment and domestic uses, like hanging out the laundry to dry.

Figure 4. Typical detached house rooftop in Hong Kong

If the government can loosen the law and allow the house owners to install a canopy and put the solar panel on top, the household will be able to utilize the rooftop as usual meanwhile being able to harvest the solar energy.


  1. Environnent Bureau. 2017. Hong Kong’s Climate Action Plan 2030+. [ONLINE] Available at:
  2. IPCC. 2014. Climate Change Synthesis Report. [ONLINE] Available at:
  3. Rais Akhtar, Cosimo Palagiano(2017).Climate Change and Air Pollution: The Impact on Human Health in Developed and Developing Countries. Springer,
  4. Report on the Public Consultation on Future Fuel Mix for Electricity Generation in Hong Kong. [ONLINE] Available at:
  5. WWF-Hong Kong 35 Years Of Conservation. [ONLINE] Available at:

  1. EMSD,(2018)Code of Practice for Energy Efficiency of Building Services Installation . Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government
  2. Feed-In Tariff Scheme Introduction.[ONLINE] Available at:
  3. Food Waste Challenge. [ONLINE] Available at:
  4. Integrated Waste Management Facilities Project Profile. [ONLINE] Available at:
  5. Environment Hong Kong 2017.[ONLINE] Available at:
  6. T-Park, Waste-to-energy process.[ONLINE] Available at:
  7. Barriers to adopting solar photovoltaic systems in Hong Kong.[ONLINE] Available at:


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