Hong Kong intends to cut down its energy intensity by 40 per cent from base year level 2005 to 2025. The document “Energy Saving plan for Hong Kong’s Built Environment 2015-2025+”, published by the government, presents the project. The focus is on the energy intensity, not on the amount of energy consumption. Energy intensity refers to the units of energy per GDP (Gross domestic product). A cut of 25 percent has already been achieved since 2005 until 2015. So 15 percent are still ahead.
With 90 percent, the building sector is responsible for the majority of electrical energy consumption. High outdoor temperatures and a very high average relative humidity of 78 percent cause a high airconditioning usage. Thus, it is understandable that the government stands up for green building since the 90s.
Hong Kong wants to save energy with a four-pronged strategy. The focus is on
1) leading role of the government,
2) increasing building energy efficiency for existing and new buildings,
3) enabling companies, institutions and residents to make energy efficiency choices when they invest in electrical appliances and vehicles and
4) promoting energy saving practices and lifestyle for the citizens of Hong Kong
Amongst other projects, Hong Kong plans to implement a district cooling system at the Kai Tak Development. Kai Tak Development is an urban development plan for the area of the former international airport of Hong Kong. The aim ist to provide chilled water for buildings in the new development area for centralised air-conditioning. It is more efficient as central cooling systems, reduces maintenance and operation cost or saves plant room space of approximately 70 percent for end-user buildings or reduces. The electricity consumption by air conditioning for Kai Tak is approximately 284 MW. A maximum annual reduction of about 60,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and a saving in electricity consumption of 85 million kWh per year are expected. Approximately up to 35 percent of the electricity used in a conventional air-cooled air-conditioning system can be saved.
Over the past decades, Hong Kong gathered different experiences in the field of energy efficiency and energy conservation. In the following some examples.
Public education and social mobilisation
- initiating the Energy Efficiency Centre at the Hong Kong Science Museum
- Organisation and implementation of information events at schools and with touring exhibitions
- Sing Yin Secondary School has been recogniced as the “Greenest School on Earth 2013” by the US Green Building Council
- Establishment of a comprehensive online platform
Financial support/incentive to trigger action
- In 2009, the Government provided $450 million to carry out building energy efficiency projects by subsidising building owners
Government leadership and targets setting
- an expert unit within the Government to focus on achieving energy efficiency has been founded in 1994
- According to the Government several reduction targets have been set up and exceeded
- A new waste-to-energy plant with a capacity of 2000 tonnes sludge per day will be commissioned in the near future
Legislating on specific requirements
- Enactement of the first code on energy standards in 1995
- introduction of energy certificates for buildings with five energy-related codes