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The Hong Kong start-up disrupting the construction sector with a zero-emissions power source

Meet the Enertainer by Ampd Energy, the future of construction that has the potential to decarbonise the whole sector.


Hong Kong’s commitment to go carbon neutral by 2050, announced at the 2020 Policy Address, means that the government has a long road ahead if it intends to achieve this goal. The construction sector will serve to be a significant obstacle to reaching a zero-carbon status, as the energy sector has the world’s largest carbon footprint.

The good news is that according to a 2020 report by think tank Civic Exchange, Hong Kong can reduce 90 percent of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 by decarbonising the power sector, improving building efficiency and mobility – but we must act now. One startup in Hong Kong is looking to make this zero-carbon journey possible with its energy innovation called the Enertainer. The Enertainer isn’t just a sustainable alternative to diesel, claims Ampd Energy’s co-founder Brandon Ng – it’s worth ditching diesel for altogether.

Ampd Energy’s Enertainer is a lithium-ion powered battery and the world’s first Energy Storage System (ESS) made specifically for construction that solves the major issues of diesel-powered construction. According to Ng, diesel burdens construction sites with a number of setbacks aside from emitting 100 to 200 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year and producing diesel fumes that affect the air we breathe. 

Diesel generators are noisy, necessitating limited construction hours. Maintenance issues lead to longer periods of downtime. Furthermore, flammability and pollution risks accompanied by diesel use are significant hazards. Ampd’s innovation addresses all the problems associated with diesel generators while needing no diesel to function. Its carbon footprint is 85 percent less than that of diesel generators and has a significantly lower equipment maintenance downtime. The remaining 15 percent arises from energy generated to charge the battery.

“The Enertainer doesn’t actually produce any emissions [because] it’s a big battery. That 15 percent is the electricity that’s needed to recharge the Enertainer,” Ng explains during a discussion hosted by TEDxCivic Exchange.

To date, the Enertainer has eliminated 2,800 tonnes of CO2 and with the 34 units that Ampd has deployed, they have taken about 10,000 cars off the roads in terms of air pollution impact.

It’s up to businesses to try to figure out how to align [the fact] that you want to be making the best possible product with the fact that the best possible product also so happens to be green.

BRANDON NG, CO-FOUNDER OF AMPD ENERGY

During the TEDx session, Ng identifies a major challenge that sustainable startups need to face in order to be successful in an environment where the majority will choose a good product over a green product.

“[At Ampd] we admit that most people don’t care about the environment – it’s changing, but most people don’t care … It’s up to businesses to try to figure out how to align [the fact] that you want to be making the best possible product with the fact that the best possible product also so happens to be green. We want to build the best possible energy system for the construction sector, and it so happens to be green.”

Vince Siu, founder of volunteer-led organisation SUSTAINHK lauds Ampd Energy for its current success and potential, and with Ampd’s plans to go international in 2021, this is just the beginning:

“[T]hat’s really just a drop in the ocean in terms of all the things that can be changed in the construction industry because [the energy sector] single-handedly is the industry that has the highest carbon footprint globally.”
To learn more about Ampd Energy and the other initiatives driving Hong Kong’s sustainability movement, listen to this podcast episode of Spyglass: A Closer Look at Hong Kong.

Printer: R&R Publishing Limited, Suite 705, 7F, Cheong K. Building, 84-86 Des Voeux Road, Central, Hong Kong

Jasmine Lee

Jasmine Lee is writer, commentator, and journalist. She graduated from McGill University where she took numerous opportunities to study and work around the world. Her specific areas of interest include media studies and human rights.

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