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Most Hongkongers willing to produce renewable energy at home

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Staff writer ▼ | May 26, 2015
Most Hongkongers are willing to produce renewable energy at home if utility companies agree to buy the surplus electricity generated, according to a survey by a global conservation body.
Hong Kong solar
WWF survey   Utility companies should buy the surplus electricity
Prentice Koo from the WWF, which interviewed more than 1,000 people by phone, said the study showed a high awareness in the city of opting for renewable energy over fossil fuels in electricity generation. He said the government should open up the electricity grid and offer feed-in tariffs for private households or institutions that make use of nature to produce power.

The suggestions followed the March launch of the government’s public consultation on the future of the electricity market, which is dominated by two major suppliers, CLP Power and HK Electric. The consultation ends on June 30.

“The market should be opened up and allow more people to join in the development of renewable energy,” Koo said.

“This is a more environmentally friendly way to produce electricity and will make the market healthier.”

According to the survey, 83.1 per cent of respondents agreed that the government should start to replace fossil fuels such as coal, gas and petroleum with renewable energy for electricity generation in order to tackle climate change, global warming and air pollution.

Some 83.7 per cent said the electricity grid should be opened up to more parties to develop renewable energy, while 53.3 per cent said they would consider installing devices to generate their own electricity – if the power companies promise to purchase the excess.

Koo said Taiwan and Japan have feed-in tariff policies designed to spur renewable energy development and investment. Under such mechanisms, utility companies are required to pay for the electricity generated by renewable energy producers at fixed rates.

The rate is the equivalent of HK$1.71 per kilowatt-hour for Taiwan and HK$2.57 for Japan.