Simran Sawhney, research analyst, and Yang Jingwen, assistant operations manager, Civic Exchange, in Stand News (December 15, 2021) – original article longer available
Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region)
Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. In October 2021, the government issued the "Hong Kong Climate Action Blueprint 2050", outlining a mid-term goal towards carbon neutrality. Yet, the blueprint only focuses on the continuation and improvement of existing policies. The government should instead formulate a science-based, long-term comprehensive climate policy.
The government should seek to develop long-term carbon reduction strategies which should include researching low-carbon power generation technology, exploring the possibility of applying hydrogen energy, carbon capture and storage (CCS), energy storage and other technologies.
The government should also consider setting up an inter-departmental working group to formulate a green hydrogen energy policy for Hong Kong. As the current technology in this area remains expensive and immature, the government should consider providing subsidies and formulate carbon pricing to reduce the cost
Meanwhile, as Hong Kong’s renewable energy resources are limited, fossil fuels will still be required for power generation. This means that CCS technologies will be indispensable. Again, the cost of such technology remains prohibitively expensive for commercial application. The government and power companies, therefore, should actively participate in relevant R&D projects to help promote its development.
As more types of energy become available, balancing power supply will become more challenging. The government needs to consider different options, including improving Hong Kong’s domestic power-grid links, connecting the China Southern Power Grid, and increasing energy storage capacity to maintain a stable power supply.