Former lawmaker and German environmentalist Hans-Josef Fell is optimistic that Hong Kong could make a switch to 100% renewable energy sources by 2050, but says the city needs to “really want it”. While a Member of Parliament for the Green Party, Fell co-authored Germany’s Renewable Energy Sources Act in 2000, changing the face of energy markets worldwide and introducing a feed-in tariff policy, such as the one now seen in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Introduces Feed-in Tariff
Hong Kong has finally joined much of the world in adopting a feed-in tariff system for electricity generation. Renewable energy currently accounts for only 1% of energy consumption in Hong Kong. The feed-in tariff rates—at Asia’s highest rate at HKD $3–5 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity—will be paid by the two power companies, CLP Power and HK Electric, to buy back excess supply.
“We estimate about a third of the city can be powered by renewable energy, predominantly by solar PV, offshore wind, and then maybe some waste-to-energy as well.”
—Gavin Edwards, Director (Conservation) of WWF, Hong Kong
The feed-in tariff encourages individuals and organisations generating their own electricity with renewable energy installations to sell back the excess supply. This principle was explained in Germany’s 2000 Renewable Energy Sources Act and has been successfully adopted by Australia, China, Canada, Japan, Taiwan and South Africa, plus most European countries and dozen others worldwide.
In support of renewable energy, more than 50% of Hong Kong residents would accept a 5% raise in their electricity bills.
Written By: Anthony Dixon