A proposal by two power companies to develop wind energy in Hong Kong will not be cost-efficient, experts claim.
CLP Power and Hongkong Electric earlier proposed to develop wind farms off the Ninepin and Lamma islands respectively.
At a forum organized by the Association for Geoconservation yesterday, City University adjunct professor in energy and environment Tso Che-wah said the amount of wind energy generated would only contribute to about 1 percent of the electricity supplied to Hong Kong. Larry Chow Chuen-ho, director of the Hong Kong Energy Studies Centre at Baptist University, agreed, saying it is not cost-efficient for the two power firms to develop wind energy in the city.
"Countries such as Denmark and Germany have favorable conditions to develop wind energy. They also have large land areas to build wind turbines and the winds are stronger to generate electricity there. Therefore, the cost of developing wind energy is low," Chow said.
"For Hong Kong, the cost of developing wind energy is high as the land on which to build turbines is limited and the winds are not always strong enough to generate electricity."
But Chow added that if the SAR uses more clean energy, such as natural gas, to generate power, local households will need to pay higher tariffs, since the cost of using natural gas to generate power is much higher than coal.
CLP is still conducting a feasibility study on the wind farm project and said more solid data needs to be collected before a decision can be finalized.
"CLP is conducting the feasibility [study] of developing an offshore wind farm," a spokeswoman said.
"We are currently collecting data for the study. The way forward for the project will depend on the green light from the government and public consensus."
The proposed project of up to 200 megawatts will be capable of meeting the power requirements of more than 80,000 four-person households.
The CLP proposal is regarded as an ambitious renewable energy project that was earlier earmarked for completion by 2016.