An energy company in Hong Kong is looking to add offshore wind energy to its mix to help meet a growing demand for renewable energy, as limited land in the city poses a challenge to building renewable energy capacity.
What is Happening?
- CLP Holdings Ltd., one of the two main electricity generation companies in Hong Kong, revealed that it may submit proposals for an offshore wind farm to the local government for their next five-year development plan starting 2023.
- Hong Kong has set a goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. It will need to eliminate fossil fuels to do this, which currently account for 75% of its power generation, with nuclear and renewables mostly imported from China making up the rest.
CEO of CLP, Richard Lancaster, said in a media briefing last week, “When you look at land being quite a valuable and a scarce resource. That leads you to think, well, what about the water? “It is much more economic now to build offshore wind than it was 10 years ago.”
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- Lancaster said that in 2010, the company proposed to build an offshore wind energy farm in southeastern Hong Kong waters, but the costs were too high at the time. The average offshore wind project cost about $134 per megawatt-hour that year, according to BloombergNEF data, which has fallen to about $89 this year.
- It’s also easier to develop such a project near Hong Kong now, as an offshore building boom in South Korea, Taiwan and China means there are more ships in the region that specialise in erecting the turbines.
In a statement, CLP said, “We are continuing to consider the project’s feasibility with new turbines which are more effective at the relatively modest wind speeds seen in Hong Kong waters.”
- Meanwhile, solar power will be a relatively smaller part of the energy mix in Hong Kong, while nuclear, hydrogen and battery storage will all play a role. CLP hasn’t ruled out making investments in China, and has been exploring renewable energy projects in Vietnam, according to Lancaster.