Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Streetwise: Why we can't have another option? 為什麼不能有第三個方案?

Why we can't have another option? 為什麼不能有第三個方案?
Translated by Carmen Li, Edited by Chen-t'ang, Written by Streetwise Policy Unit
Original link: Press here 


(Photo by Steve Kocino via Flickr)
 
The Hong Kong Government has put forward two options in the consultation paper of Fuel Mix for Electricity Generation.
Option one is to purchase from the China Southern Power Grid (CSG), which will take up 30% of Hong Kong’s electricity consumption. Altogether with current 20% of electricity consumption from Daya Bay Nuclear Power Plant, half of the electricity will be imported from China altogether. 40% of generation will be using natural gas and 10% using coal.
Option two is to increase the ratio of natural gas for local generation from 20% to 60%, with the remaining 20% to be met by local coal-fired generation and renewable energy, while keeping 20% of nuclear import from Daya Bay Nuclear Power Plant.

In fact, we have to pay double for electricity charges in both options. These options are not really environmentally-friendly (the so-called wind power and hydraulic power generations are actually relied on CSG). They cannot help solving the monopoly of two power companies.

The government always urges to develop Environmental Protection as one of the "six pillar industries", and pushes Hong Kong to "lead the way on sustainable energy". However, the target of renewable energy in 2020 is barely 3 to 4% of the total electricity consumption. Now the renewable energy in Germany has already taken 17% of total electricity consumption in 2011. It is predicted that in 2020, the figure will rise up to 35%, which is 10 times of Hong Kong’s target.  The Environmental Protection experts, Wong Kam-sing and Christine Loh Kung-wai, who have $300,000 as monthly salary, can only think of two options without creativity? Is it impossible to have the third option?

Solar power technology is advanced by leaps and bounds. In the past, solar power generation was not economically efficient, but now, the price of silicon has dropped a lot, which enables the payback period to be shortened to 10 years. Also, "zero emission" can be attained during power generation. In fact, there is only 1600 hours sunlight on average in Germany every year, whereas 1840 hours on average in Hong Kong. Therefore, it is more viable for Hong Kong to use solar power generation when it is applicable in Germany. Streetwise Policy Unit now proposes Option three:

- Separation of Plants and Grids. We require two power companies to separate power generation, power transmission and marketing as independent entities. Build up and make a new plan for the independent power grid company. Strengthen the current
   1) CLP (中電) and Power Assets Holding Limited (港燈)  and
   2) the connection between CLP and China Power Grid.
- Smart Grid must provide Net Metering.
- Enable mandatory legislation of space reservation for installation of solar panels in all buildings with rooftops receiving sunlight.
- The energy produced by solar panels can be provided for the public utilities of the buildings first. After the separation of the power grid, it can even be sold to power gird by cost price.
 
It is forseeable that this option will face lots of objection from many apartment owners. Usually, most of the apartment owners are not concerned much about environmental protection. They are not willing to pay a higher electricity charge, which could likely be saved in the future. In fact many solar panel companies in Europe and US do not require apartment owners to pay in advance. The way to pay is to install the solar panel first. The fees of installation and facilities would be deducted from the saved electricity charge in the next 10 years. It is a bit similar to the mortgage or payment by installments. The development of this market can be benefitted if the government can provide guarantees and subsidies.

Such ordinance can be implemented in different phases. The first phase is to require all new buildings to install solar panels. Then apply this to commercial buildings and factories in second phase. Residential buildings will be the final phase. The cheaper the price of silicon, the higher the effectiveness of absorbing solar power, and the fewer opposition should appear. If such option can be fully implemented, it is believed that solar power can be taken 30% of the total energy resource in Hong Kong. It should be able to meet the needs of future development in Hong Kong.

政府公布的發電燃料組合諮詢文件,提出兩個方案。方案一是向中國南方電網買電,佔全港3成電力;連同目前大亞灣核電佔兩成的用電,即本港有一半電力來自中國。另4成以天然氣發電,燃煤則減至一成。方案二是增加本地天然氣發電比例,由目前的兩成增至6成;再生能源或燃煤發電佔兩成,而大亞灣輸入核電就維持兩成水平。
其實兩個方案都代表電費要加一倍,又不十分環保(所謂的風力和水力發電其實是依賴南方電綱),而且對打破現時兩電壟斷亦無甚幫助。
香港政府經常大聲疾呼要發展環保為6項優勢產業,並「在使用可持續能源方面擔任領導的角色」,可是2020年再生能源的目標僅是總發電量的3至4%。現在德國可再生能源發電已經佔總發電量的17%(2011年),預計到2020年可以增加至35%,是香港目標的10倍!黄錦星和陸恭蕙作為環保專家,每人月薪三十萬,只能想到這兩個零創意的方案?難道真的不能有第三個方案?
現時太陽能科技突飛猛進,矽片的價格大跌,太陽能發電已經由不符合經濟效益,變成十年內能回本了,而且發電時還是「零排放」。其實德國每年只有平均1,600小時的陽光,而香港則平均有1,840小時的陽光,因此如果太陽能在德國是可行的話,在香港更加可行。因此,路邊政策組提出以下第三個方案︰

- 廠網分家,要求兩電分拆發電、輸配及銷售業務為獨立公司。成立獨立電網公司,重新規劃,並將其進化為聰明電網,加強現時
1)中電與電能實業以及;2)中電與中國電網的連接。
- 聰明電網必須提供淨用電量(Net Metering)。
- 立法硬性規定所有大廈有日照的天台至少要有一部份面積安裝太陽能電池板。
- 所產生的能量可先行為大廈的公共設施供電。電網分拆後甚至可以以成本價賣給電網。


當然,此方案一定會遭到業主群起反對。一般小業主不太關心環保,不會願意即時拿錢出來以換取未來可能省下來的電費。其實現時歐美有很多太陽能公司都不需要業主先付款的,付款方法都是先安裝太陽能電池板,而安裝及設備費用則會從未來十年所省下的電費扣除,有點像樓宇按揭或分期付款形式。當然如果政府能同時提供擔保或資助,將更有利這市場的發展。這法例可分階段實施,先是要求所有新大廈都裝上太陽能電池板,第二階段則應用於商業及工廠大廈,最後才在住宅推行。隨著矽片越來越便宜,吸收太陽能的效能越來越好,反對的聲音應該會越來越少。如果措施能全面推行,相信太陽能佔香港總能源可高達30%,足夠香港未來發展需要。
 

No comments:

Post a Comment