With the gradual reduction of available fossil fuel reserves and the impact on the environment of fossil fuel use, renewable energy is becoming increasingly important. This is especially true in Hong Kong, which is highly energy dependent. Here you can learn more about renewable energy, what the Government is doing to promote its use and how you can use renewable energy in your home.
What is Renewable Energy?
Unlike fossil fuels such as coal and oil, renewable energy will never run out. It is abundant in the environment, and can come from the sun, wind, running water, waves, and biomass. Solar and wind energy, in particular, hold much promise in Hong Kong. But the absolute value of all renewable energy sources is that we can use them, and then use them again. Another important advantage is that they don't emit greenhouse gases or atmospheric pollutants. So if we use more renewable energy we can clean up our environment and help ourselves.Pamphlet on renewable energy (pdf file)Hong Kong RE Net
What the Government is Doing
The Hong Kong Government is leading the way on sustainable energy use and has been using renewable energy for over 30 years. Solar water heating has been used since 1980 in some swimming pools, and the Sheung Shui slaughter house also uses solar water heating. Since the 1980s, small-scale photovoltaic systems have been used to power automatic weather stations around Hong Kong. More recently, Wanchai Tower, the Science Park and the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department Headquarters have been using photovoltaic systems to generate electricity to supplement conventional power supplies. In 2000, a study commissioned by Electrical and Mechanical Services Department found that solar power, energy from waste and wind energy have the potential for wider use in Hong Kong. There are now plans to further develop renewable energy use so that you can benefit in more direct ways.More on the possibilities of renewable energy for Hong Kong (pdf file)
Renewable Energy Demonstrated
The Electrical and Mechanical Services Department provides interactive educational displays on renewable energy at its headquarters in Kowloon Bay. These displays encourage people to explore and play while thinking about energy issues. Another feature of the headquarters is the 350kW photovoltaic installation on the rooftop, where solar energy is converted into electricity to supplement the building's main supply. This is a working model of what can be achieved in other buildings. Guided tours of the displays and the photovoltaic installation are conducted on Monday through Saturday. To book a tour you can call the Energy Efficiency Office at the Department on 2808 3465, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.Pamphlet on the educational displays (pdf file)
What You Can Do – Solar Water Heating
You can contribute to solar energy use in a very simple way by installing a solar hot water heater. Solar energy is abundant in Hong Kong's sunny climate, and easy to use. You can consider replacing your existing water heater with a new solar hot water heating system located on the rooftop of your building. Licensed contractors are available to make sure that this work is done properly, and within the law. Approvals from the Buildings Department, Lands Department and Water Supplies Department are required if the installation involves alterations to or additional work on the existing building structure or water supply system. The benefits of solar hot water heating are that it can save the environment and save money too.More on solar water heatingPamphlet on solar water heating for your home (pdf file)Guidance Notes for Household-scale Solar Water Heating System at Village House (pdf file)Solar Thermal Collectors for Water Heating (pdf file)