By Desmond Lee
In April 2017, the Hong Kong SAR government announced that a Feed-in Tariff (FiT) will be introduced in 2018 as part of the new Scheme of Control Agreements (SCAs) with the city’s two utility companies. The goal of this tariff is to encourage the private sector and the community to consider investing in distributed renewable energy systems. Through this, distributed renewable energy generators can sell excess generated electricity to the utility company at a higher than normal retail rate, and thus partially offset the cost of investment. Judging from similar experiences from other countries, such as Taiwan, Australia, Germany and other European countries, this policy will have a positive effect on the growth of on-site renewable energy.
Some eyebrows may be raised about the suitability of renewable energy, particularly photovoltaics, for Hong Kong, a city known for its density and tall skyscrapers. However, there are an abundant of opportunities for alternative sources of energy. Recent developments in Hong Kong include large institutions such as hospitals and universities, and Hong Kong doesn’t lack in standalone houses further from the city centre. Additionally, a waste-to-energy facility with a capacity of 2000 tonnes of sewage sludge per day recently came into operation. Augmenting this, a feed-in-tariff will contribute towards the policy goal of reduced carbon intensity by 2030 as set out in Hong Kong’s Climate Action Plan 2030+.
Another opportunity can be found in adopting big data and AI technology to predict renewable energy generation for electricity suppliers. To avoid excessive electricity generation by electricity suppliers, a prediction system can estimate electricity fed by individual renewable energy systems to the grid. Via this, the renewable energy market is also a stepping stone to the world of big data and AI engineering.
No matter what influence the FiT may have on Hong Kong’s renewable energy market, it is believed that the renewable energy industry and market would be enlarged in the future due to environmental policies and emission reduction targets set. Cundall, as a leading engineering consultancy in Hong Kong, is well placed on the frontline of the anticipated surge in the industry. My colleague Albert and I have significate interest in photovoltaic and renewable engineering, having worked on designing, tendering, constructing, supervising and commissioning a zero-carbon camping project for a youth camp in Hong Kong. Albert has worked on the design and tender of a unique building-integrated photovoltaics crown for a tower in Hong Kong. We are excited and well equipped to have the potential to support any renewable projects in Hong Kong.
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