Energy in Hong Kong

Energy consumption is a key sustainability issue for several reasons:

1. Most energy comes from fossil fuels which took 2 billion years to accumulate and so are not renewable in human time scales.

2. Burning fossil fuel emits CO2 and other greenhouse gases causing climate change and ocean acidification. Please click Climate Change for details.

3. Burning some fossil fuels releases pollution. For example some coal contains mercury.

This chart shows the breakdown of Hong Kong's annual carbon dioxide emissions of 42 million tons,

Source: HK Governemnt

Hong Kong's per-capita carbon emissions are mid ranking amoung developed economies. This is partly due to Hong Kong's low emissions due to having a small manufacturing sector being offset by high electricity consumption in commercial buildings.

Another factor impacting Hong Kong's per-capita carbon emissions is the mix of fuels used to generate electricity. Currently about 50% comes from coal, 25% from nuclear and 25% from gas. In 2010 the Hong Kong Government proposed reducing carbon emissions by replacing most of the coal with nuclear and gas by 2020.

The Hong Kong Government also proposed waste some electricity should come from a waste incinerator and some from offshore windfarms.

The wind turbine run by Hong Kong Electric on Lamma Island:

One of the Hong Kong power stations which is located on Lamma Island:

One of the Hong Kong power stations which is located on Lamma Island.

Questions which

1) What fuel mix should Hong Kong use for generating electricity? Should it increase its use nuclear energy and of gas?

2) Why does HK use so much electricity/ energy? Can we reduce the usage and retain our current living standards?

3) How can Hong Kong encourage clean energy?

4) What can individuals do to increase energy efficiency and reduce electricity consumption?

Answers to these questions are open. The following books, articles and issues may help you to understand better these issues.

Public Consultation on Hong Kong's climate change strategy and action agenda
Issued By: Environmental Protection Department, Hong Kong Government
Date:Sept 2010

Answer to Legco question on fuel mix
Issued By: Hong Kong Government (Press Release)
Date:Nov 2011

Hong Kong's energy Future Paper I
Issued By: Civic Exchange
Date: 2008

Hong Kong's energy Future Paper I
Issued By: Civic Exchange
Date: 2008

Sites of renewable energy in Hong Kong, Electrical and Mechanical Services Department

Energy Land, Electrical and Mechanical Services Department