Earth Chat

Transition to Renewables for Long-term Sustainability and Stability

  • Expedite transition to renewable energy for long-term sustainability and stability
  • Power companies must bear responsibility for continued use of fossil fuel
  • Enhance interconnection to improve stability and facilitate renewables
  • Liberalise market to promote renewable energy development
  • Develop better tariff structure for smarter energy use
  • Improve energy demand management to reduce power grid load

The Legislative Council’s Panel on Environmental Affairs is conducting an interim review of the Scheme of Control Agreements with the two power companies recently. Electricity tariffs have risen significantly since the beginning of the year in response to rising international fuel prices. The continued use of fossil fuels has driven the Earth 1.1°C hotter than pre-industrial times, and is likely to breach 1.5°C by 2027.

Changes in fuel cost adjustment between CLP and HK Electric (Source: HKEJ)

Global mean surface temperature projection (Image source: CarbonBrief)

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, due to the volatility and climate impact of fossil fuels, including natural gas, two-thirds of the renewable power added in 2021 is cheaper than fossil fuels.[1]Friends of the Earth (HK) stresses the urgent need for the city to decarbonise its power grid. Hong Kong has to increase the share of renewables in the energy mix at a much greater scale and faster pace.

Renewable power added in 2021 had lower costs than the cheapest coal-fired options (Image source: IRENA)

To support this green transition, Friends of the Earth (HK) also makes the following recommendations:

1.The two power companies should be made to fulfill their social responsibility by bearing part of the rising fossil fuel prices, alleviating the burden on citizens and encouraging a transition to clean energy;

2.The two power companies should enhance interconnection to improve efficiency and reliability and facilitate renewable energy integration;

3.The government should explore liberalising the energy market,introducing new technology and renewable utilities into the market, so as to promote the long-term development of green energy;

4.Hong Kong should develop a better tariff structure that will encourage smarter and more sustainable energy consumption behaviours, such as time-of-use tariff and a more progressive pricing;

5.Given that 90% of electricity produced goes to meeting building energy demand, the power companies should help improve demand-side management and energy efficiency in buildings, such as incentivising energy audits, energy efficiency retrofits, and more.

Time-of-Use rates of Ontario’s electricity system (Image source: ERTH Power)


The world is actively developing renewables in response to climate change. The 15% maximum renewable energy target set in "Hong Kong's Climate Action Plan 2050" is far less ambitious than other countries and cities. The government must take advantage of this interim review to reassess the long-term development of renewable energy with the goal of achieving carbon neutrality before 2050.

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