At present, about 1% of the city’s electricity is generated from renewable sources. The government has proposed feed-in tariff (FiT) rates to promote local renewable electricity generation from the public and organisations.
Boosting RE Production
Currently, about 1% of Hong Kong’s electricity is generated from renewable sources. The government has identified in the Climate Action Plan 2030+ that Hong Kong has 3-4% of realisable RE potential by 2030, including solar, wind, and waste-to-energy. The government has announced details on the proposed FiT scheme to boost local RE production:
- The tariff will be set at HK$3-5 per kilowatt hour of electricity according to capacities of installed systems (from 10 kilowatts to 1 megawatt), which is about three to five times higher than current electricity prices.
- The proposed FiT is expected to incentivise RE installations through the shortening of the payback periods of RE investments (including installation, operation and maintenance costs) to around 10 years, compared to over 30 years without tariff.
- The FiT will last until 2033 as part of the Scheme of Control Agreements (SCAs) between the government and the two power firms in Hong Kong.
To offset part of the cost incurred by FiT, power companies will have the option to sell renewable energy certificates to businesses or even members of the public, which would be used to meet corporate social responsibility commitments and offset carbon emissions from daily operations, or to lower individual carbon footprints.
Opportunities for Distributed RE Installations
It is estimated that over 230,000 buildings in Hong Kong have the potential to install rooftop solar panels and contribute to around 10% of the city’s total electricity consumption. It is expected that the introduction of FiT will promote the installation of distributed RE (e.g. rooftop PV and wind turbines), especially at village houses in rural areas.
- FiT will spur new demand for the installation of RE systems, which will require expert resources for site surveys, set-up, ongoing maintenance and inspections of the systems.
- The future decommissioning of the RE systems will require careful planning of the waste management process to ensure proper recycling and disposal of the waste generated from solar panels and wind turbines, etc.