Climate change and energy security are forcing Hong Kong to shift from a fossil fuel-based to a clean and low-carbon energy structure. In this article, a simulation model for Hong Kong’s energy system is developed using EnergyPLAN model, to examine the present energy structure and analyse alternative future sustainable energy strategies. First, a reference model is established and validated based on year 2009 data. Secondly, three scenarios are modelled. The BAU (business-as-usual) scenario for Hong Kong’s energy system in 2020 is presented and simulated (BAU2020). To address the energy security and environmental sustainability challenges posed by the BAU outcomes, two alternative scenarios are then studied. The first alternative is a fuel mix for 2020 proposed by the government (Gov 2020) which is characterized by importing more nuclear power from the mainland. As a result of the Fukushima nuclear incident, however, this proposal has been held in abeyance. Therefore, a second alternative for Hong Kong in 2020 is proposed in this study, using more RE (renewable energy) to replace nuclear power (RE 2020). The results show that both the governmentally proposed scenario and the RE scenario can achieve the carbon reduction target. However, the RE scenario would be much better than the government scenario in terms of environmental, social benefits and long-term sustainability.
With the aid of the EnergyPLAN model, this article demonstrates that the proposed RE scenario is more reasonable and practical, which can balance the various objectives of government energy policy, carbon reduction targets and energy security. It is believed that the future trend to increase the share of RE, suppress nuclear power, and phase out coal-fired PPs for power generation in Hong Kong would serve its needs by 2020 and beyond. The attainable reduction of CO2 emission in the RE scenario for 2020 would also benefit Hong Kong’s position as an international city and highly advanced economy. It is suggested that the Hong Kong government should estimate the future development trends and project the transition from nuclear energy to RE for power supply in Hong Kong.
A link to the paper can be found here.
Fig. Actual fuel consumption in 2009 and projected data from three future scenarios for 2020 in Hong Kong