China: Hong Kong to Promote Green Buildings to Overcome Energy Issue

hong kongAs the Hong Kong government moves to reshape the local electricity market, sustainability advocates are promoting green building as a potential panacea for resolving the city’s energy dilemmas.

A new study conducted by the City University of Hong Kong in conjunction with Greenpeace has found that the application of green building measures could have a transformative impact on local power consumption.

In a best case scenario, under which all of Hong Kong’s buildings are converted into green structures by the end of the decade, the city’s total electricity consumption would fall by 9.4 billion kWh, which would translate into annual per capita  savings of HK$1,500 (approximately AU$190).

Under a more realistic scenario, potential savings would still be impressive. If only 38 per cent of Hong Kong’s buildings were to become green, CO2 emissions would fall by 3.1 million tonnes, while if only 28 per cent were made more sustainable, Hong Kong could continue to adequately supply electricity to its population without the need to increase capacity.

Hong Kong has the fourth highest population density of any independent territory or country on the planet and its buildings comprise 90 per cent of total power consumption.

The report’s findings arrive just as the Hong Kong government is scheduled to review control arrangements between the city’s two power companies, which will have a profound influence on the future of the local electricity market.

Dr. William Chung Siu-wai, associate professor in the Department of Management Services at the City University of Hong Kong, says the review provides a critical opportunity to raise the city’s sustainability levels and reduce power costs for Hong Kong citizens.

“If we miss this chance to review our electricity market and include a green building strategy…Hong Kong people will continue to face electricity tariff hikes,” he said.

He advocates the ambitious target of making 40 per cent of the Hong Kong buildings green by 2020, as well as the inclusion of energy conservation targets in agreements concluded by the government with power companies.

Singapore, another city-state in the Asia Pacific which shares strong similarities with Hong Kong, has aggressively promoted green building over the past several years.

In 2008, the Singapore government passed a law requiring that all new buildings obtain a Green Mark rating, and its current goal is ensure that all buildings in the city-state satisfy these criteria by 2030.


Source: Design Building Source

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