Renewable energy sources, Electricity generation is the largest contributor to carbon emissions in Hong Kong, accounting for 66 percent of the total carbon emissions in 2019, according to the city’s Climate Action Plan 2050.

Hong Kong to develop renewable energy sources to reduce its carbon footprint

The special administrative region has been relying on imported fuel for generating power, or electricity imported from the Chinese mainland, to meet its electricity demand. With various initiatives to drive the development of renewable energy, Hong Kong’s fuel mix for electricity generation has changed.In 2015, coal accounted for 48 percent of electricity generation, but the ratio dropped to 24 percent in 2020. In the same period, the ratio of natural gas in the fuel mix ballooned from 27 percent to 48 percent. Nuclear and renewable energy sources contribution had also risen, although slightly – from 25 percent to 28 percent – between 2015 and 2020, according to the Climate Action Plan 2050. The HKSAR government expects renewable energy’s share in the fuel mix for generating power to increase from less than 1 percent at present to between 7.5 percent and 10 percent by 2035, and jump to 15 percent subsequently. Zero-carbon energy, or renewable energy, refers to energy sources that generate little or no carbon emissions during their production or use. Such sources can be solar, wind or hydrogen. Hong Kong is developing renewable energy sources on all fronts. The government will strive to develop more advanced waste-to-energy facilities to generate electricity.

It is also reviewing proposals with the city’s two power companies to develop offshore wind farms, and has encouraged the community to develop solar energy. Waste accounted for 7 percent of the city’s total carbon emissions in 2019, according to Climate Action Plan 2050. Developing waste-to-energy facilities and promoting waste reduction recycling will mean shifting away from reliance on landfills for municipal waste disposal that leads to a high carbon footprint. Hong Kong’s drive to develop large-scale renewable energy sources still faces constraints due to geographical factors, scarce land resources, and densely populated areas. Among the zero-carbon energy sources, hydrogen is set to play a more significant role in efforts to combat climate change. Hydrogen is a versatile, nontoxic and lightweight gas that can be stored, transported and converted into clean power. More importantly, it has the potential to decarbonize a wide range of sectors. A clean-green economy can be developed when hydrogen can feed into a range of applications, such as chemicals, transport, buildings or manufacturing, if produced on a large scale. Grey hydrogen (not carbon-free), which is the most common form, is generated via carbon-intensive methods, using a natural gas or coal feedstock; while green hydrogen (carbon-free) is produced from sustainable power sources via methods such as electrolysis – a chemical reaction that breaks water down into its constituent parts, hydrogen and oxygen. Renewable power sources, such as solar or wind, can be applied to generate green hydrogen. The Hydrogen Council – an international advisory body to foster long-term clean energy transition – expects global hydrogen demand to reach 546 million metric tons by 2050, up from the current 70 million metric tons, with a 6.4-percent annual growth rate.

Source: This news is originally published by chinadaily

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