Submission to Panel on Environmental Affairs, Legislative Council on the use of nuclear power in Hong Kong

 In Environment, Public Utilities
,

There are genuine public concerns over safety of nuclear power generation. The risk of nuclear accident at Daya Bay or other nearby nuclear power sites in Guangdong cannot be completely eliminated, however more engineering and safety features we put in the plants. Though the probability of such accident may be low, the consequence of any accident will be disastrous for Hong Kong.

 

The Government proposed increasing nuclear powered electricity to 50%, as our energy mix. We believe the top priority should be placed on reducing consumption – “Demand-side Management”; instead of building additional nuclear power facilities.

 

At present, buildings take up 80–90% of total electricity consumption. There are 40,000 to 45,000 existing buildings, in which 60% of the electricity is consumed by commercial buildings.

 

The targets set by the Draft Building Energy Efficiency Bill (BEEB) are far too low. BEEB is primarily targeting new construction, which accounts for very little. New BEEB should be drafted now, setting much lower energy demands.

 

The Government had promoted BEAM Plus and supported BEAM Society and HKGBC. New updated BEAM Plus, with a lot more REAL green features is needed – Green BEAM (GBEAM). This task ought to be undertaken by Government. GBEAM ought to aspire to becoming an industry guide for sustainable development, and as such covers wider issues besides energy/electricity and carbon emissions.

 

The Government (EPD) must adopt a comprehensive policy in reducing electricity/energy consumption. Overseas examples from C40 Summit last year should be taken onboard. Such as green building financing pilot schemes in Australia, UK and Canada. The problems and obstacles created by Deed of Mutual Covenants must be addressed by legislation. The Government (HKHA) should lead by example, and tender out more aggressive “energy saving buildings” aiming to achieve “net zero energy” consumption for our public housing stock. (Stanley: Be honest, I do not consider “net zero energy” building is viable. Any of you do not enjoy air conditioning in summer time? )

 

In addition to introducing bold initiatives to reduce energy consumption, we believe that the government has a duty to further develop on “wind energy” using the small islands in our specific landscape, to further explore the potential of suitable “solar energy” applications and to study to develop a comprehensive “no-nuke” option which envisages the termination of nuclear energy within a defined time frame. The pros and cons of this option should be made transparent so that an informed choice on our energy future can be made by the community at large.

 

 

The Professional Commons (公共專業聯)

29 April 2011

 

 

 

 

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