Consumer Council waste of energy

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Renewable again? Really?

The Consumer Council is clearly out of their area of expertise when they then go on to talk about renewables like they are the first people to think of them and suggest we should explore them. Universities and companies here have been on the job for years, no thanks to the Consumer Council. Wind, solar, and even tidal have seen hundreds of millions of dollars poured into experiments and research here. The power firms have funded many, but not all of it. Independent research has also been a big part of the mix.

Wind – not enough and even mild offshore windmill projects meet hurricane strength resistance from NIMBYists. Solar? Still too expensive in Hong Kong. Tidal – our tides aren’t that impressive compared to places like the Bay of Fundy and other contenders, barring a major technological breakthrough.

Gas and nuclear are viable options. Real concerns about the safety of nuclear in China are something to worry about as long as corruption and slack safety standards are endemic in the country. Daya Bay, with French and CLP involvement, is well managed to international norms. Future plants will be a source of concern as the Chinese go it alone, but there is little we can do here to stop them being built.

Hong Kong does have a surplus of one fuel source that we have not capitalised on to generate energy. It is time to kill two birds with one stone by looking at waste to energy.

Waste to energy

Austria, The Netherlands, Japan and many more countries now have power generation in urban areas with zero-emission through waste to energy facilities. The Netherlands even gets paid to take in British garbage which they use to generate power.

In Hong Kong, we have a Government pushing ahead with an incinerator using old, therefore supposedly more reliable, technology. Expensive and pollution emitting, but ‘reliable’, have been chosen over cutting-edge, proven and emission free. The incinerator being dragged through the Finance Committee doesn’t even generate electricity.

This Government should scrap the proposed incinerator and commit to bringing waste to energy facilities to Hong Kong. Firms from countries mentioned above have made multiple trade missions to Hong Kong, seeing a market here desperately in need of their solutions. Local power generation and responsibility for disposing of trash should even see localities develop local, independent garbage consuming power generators as an alternative to the monopolies in their district (there is no duopoly, remember!).

Between lazy use of definitions and claims of abuse of power, the Consumer Council should stick to consumer goods and leave the big questions like energy to the economists and engineers that have been dealing with it for some time. And our Government should scrap the mega-incinerator and get on world best-of-class waste to energy solutions to solve two problems at once.
With all the problems it has now, our government could probably do with solving two in one.

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