香港熱不可耐,太陽能不能

【意見交流園地】馮健鏗 Ryan Fung

偽命題,就是要在「有氣水」(Sparkling Water)和「蒸餾水」(Distilled Water)之中 2 選 1,卻沒有想過其他更好的選擇。香港政府推動發電的能源如是,一直推銷的所謂「淨零發電」,其實不夠綠(當中隱含核能),沒有告訴外界香港並不重視「可再生能源」,這在未來能源組合中只是微乎其微的佔比,似乎無心戀戰。

發電是香港最大的溫室氣體排放來源。長遠來說,香港必須徹底淘汰化石燃料,擁抱可再生能源,而非核電和天然氣,達至真正的碳中和,讓香港與國際接軌。加上面對香港人口持續增長,對電力的需求亦相應提升,但仍未見香港急起直追,可再生能源佔日常發電比率不足 3%,遠低於內地的 29.8%。

根據內地外國的經驗顯示,政府提供支持性政策,幫助推動可再生能源的使用和發展。不少城市和地區均會在發展可再生能源初期,提供研發補助,降低使用再生能源的成本;進而提供稅務優惠、電費差額補貼等,擴大可再生能源的使用量。

以中國為例,經過多年來的政策補貼,如自 2013 年發表「關於促進光伏產業健康發展的若干意見」,從價格、財政補貼、稅收、項目管理和併網管理等多方面,帶動整個可再新能源產業壯大發展,甚至在太陽能業問鼎全球最強地位

事實上,早前香港的氣候倡議組織「日出社區」也表示,如在天台、水塘及閒置土地上都安裝太陽能板,估計至 2030 年最高可滿足本港電力需求的 21%,評估本港潛力一定不止 3% 至 4%。

雖然政府已於 2018 年與 2 間電力公司引入上網電價,推動太陽能發電系統的發展,但之前也提過,在綠色能源未竟全功之際,政府就削減上網電價,可謂逆行倒施,打擊市民支持可再生能源的意欲。

相反,要鼓勵使用再生能源,政府應考慮延長計劃的時效。目前,有關計劃將於 2033 年底完結,但太陽能發電系統的投資成本高,若安裝數年後便要拆除,會令不少有意者卻步。

除此以外,為更有效的推動可再生能源,大概是政府需在政策上提供更大的便利,讓更多企業願意興建更具效益的大型太陽能發電系統,包括:

  1. 取消發電容量 1 兆瓦的上限,以鼓勵發展更多大型太陽能項目,提升效率。
  2. 以創新思維處理在閒置農地、堆填區等地方,設置太陽能發電系統申請,包括豁免補地價、成立專責小組協調各部門,如地政署、屋宇署、環保署等的要求,加快整個流程。

再岔開一點,除了發電,運輸是碳排放的元兇,政府也應該仿效內地的做法,對商業企業購買電動巴士提供補貼,鼓勵更多市民綠色出行,而不是一味催谷市民坐地鐵。

但有趣的是,新任環境及生態局局長謝展寰似乎有點「遠視」:一蹴而就聲稱會探索氫能在重型車的應用,但就未有先解決減碳的燃眉之急;提出如何集中資源,做好電動車相關的政策,似乎繼續抱陳守舊;計劃在 2035 年或之前停止新登記燃油私家車,卻未有正視公共運輸系統的碳排放問題。

不應對氣候危機,香港不單止要飽受高溫折磨,沿岸地區更會被淹沒。可是,上屆政府提出的「香港氣候行動藍圖 2050」,所提到的幾項措施最終也是捉襟見肘。當中也未有提及如何在香港發展可再生能源上,好好利用太陽能。再者,所謂關注氣候問題的政府官員,永遠只懂得詭辯,活像一個「氣候演員」,嘥鬼氣。

Renewable Energy in my lightbulb

Mostafa Monira Firdouse, Green Finance Advisor of Friends of the Earth (HK)

In my view, our living and breathing depend on THREE core elements; energy, food and appropriate government policy. No matter where the world moves with geo-political, financial, technology, innovation, disruption, and more, as living beings, we need these three elements to sustain ourselves.

I was reading WEF Energy Transition Index 2022, I realized that the current energy crisis has created a silver lining- increasing the speed of the energy transition and strengthening its resilience to future challenges. I echo with this and honestly, I strongly believe in it too. Today, as the risks of high fossil fuel prices and uncertainties about the global energy supply outlook increase, countries can seize the opportunity to strengthen their commitments to clean energy investments.

The global energy transition is upon us. Public pressure, falling renewable energy costs, and improving technology are driving the change. The coming decade will be a pivotal point in this transition and will likely dictate whether we meet several international climate goals. It falls on the shoulders of each country to meet their renewable energy commitments.

As we know, electricity generation is the largest contributor to carbon emissions in Hong Kong. Two power companies have gradually replaced coal with natural gas from 2015 to 2020, and so the share of natural gas has significantly increased from around a quarter to almost half. The HK government introduced the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) Scheme with the power companies in 2018, in which the power companies purchase RE generated by the private sector at a rate higher than the electricity tariff.

The two power companies have received a total of over 16,000 applications from October 2018 to June 2021, of which over 14,000 have been approved. Upon completion of the installation of all approved solar energy generation systems, about 200 million kWh of electricity is estimated to be generated each year, which is sufficient to meet the electricity demand of about 67,000 households, reducing about 140,000 tons of carbon emissions each year (i.e. about 0.4% of Hong Kong’s total carbon emissions). Link

While I am writing this article, I am counting my 15th anniversary of my motherhood; optimism is thus not a choice for me but survival to remain hopeful for my daughter’s future. I’m looking forward to seeing home grown renewable energy power my lightbulb.