Single title

Climate Change Mitigation in Hong Kong’s Electricity Sector

by Christopher Hauk

Analysis on Local Climate and Energy Policy

As part of China, Hong Kong is obligated to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to meet the Paris Agreement's goals. This paper offers a critical review on the city's climate and energy measures, in particular the role of power plant operation in supply-side changes, namely the shift in the energy mix, demand reduction, and solar PV installation.

In its Climate Action Plan 2030+, the government of Hong Kong has set clear targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). It defined a shift in its energy mix, which is still dominated by fossil fuels, as the main approach.

So far, no detailed power plant scheduling simulation has been developed for Hong Kong. This paper presents a simulation for 15-minute power plant scheduling and related emission calculation in Hong Kong for the target year 2030. In this simulation, the fuel mix change decided by the government represents the reference case, based on which the impact of demand reduction and solar PV installation are compared.

The results of different scenarios are impressive, clearly showing the potential for substantial emissions cuts. Massive efforts in energy conservation and efficiency could almost half the emissions, by far outperforming the reductions of 29% due to large-scale solar PV.

This paper further discusses major barriers to Hong Kong’s energy politics that hinder significant reduction of energy demand. These are identified based on an extensive literature review and 19 semi-structured interviews with local experts and stakeholders. The barriers range from unambitious yet unachieved targets and weak roadmaps over a lack of institutional resources and government leadership all the way down to deficits in transparency.

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Dr. Peter Hefele