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November, 2007:

Green Groups Push For CO2 Caps in Scheme of Control

Nishika Patel

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Six green groups have accused the government of not doing enough to curb greenhouse gas emissions, saying the new scheme of control will not force power companies into line.

Staging a protest at the Environment Bureau yesterday, members of the alliance urged authorities to cap carbon dioxide emissions for power plants and deduct their profits if the targets are not met.

Greenpeace said CLP Power and Hong Kong Electric are responsible for emitting 70 percent of carbon dioxide in the SAR and are the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions

The groups are angry that the government only regulates emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and respirable suspended particulates, but not the chief greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide .

“While countries around the world are actively fighting global warming, the SAR government simply allows carbon dioxide emissions to damage the climate without regulation. The government should not shirk its responsibility,” Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner Frances Yeung Hoi-shan said.

The alliance also wants a new scheme of control to set targets to reduce energy consumption and sanctions imposed if the power firms fail to meet the targets.

“Energy saving is the most cost- effective means to control greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality. However, the government has suggested offering incentives to power plants to improve energy saving and demand-side management which, however, are not compulsory and only serve as foil,” Yeung said.

The groups included Friends of the Earth, Greeners Action, Green Sense, WWF Hong Kong and Clear the Air, along with Carbon Dioxide Foundlings.

Areva Wins Deal To Build Two Guangdong Nuclear Reactors

Areva wins deal to build two Guangdong nuclear reactors

€8b contract hailed as the largest in the industry’s history

Al Guo in Beijing
Nov 27, 2007

French state-owned nuclear power giant Areva yesterday sealed the biggest deal in the industry’s history with an €8 billion (HK$92.53 billion) contract to develop two reactors for China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group Corp.

“A new era is opening in nuclear energy partnerships between our two countries,” said Areva chief executive Anne Lauvergeon, a member of French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s delegation to Beijing this week.

Areva and Guangdong Nuclear will build two next generation European pressurised water reactors, EPRs, in Taishan, Guangdong province. The French company will provide the materials and services to operate the reactors.

As part of the deal, Guangdong Nuclear gains access to 35 per cent of the production from Areva’s uranium unit, UraMin. The mainland will be the third country after Finland and France to use EPR technology.

Areva and Toshiba’s US-based Westinghouse Electric unit have been competing to build as many as 30 nuclear reactors in the mainland since Beijing unveiled long-term plans to increase its reliance on nuclear power from less than 2 per cent now to 4 per cent by 2020.

Westinghouse reportedly secured a US$5.3 billion order in July to build four reactors in the mainland.

The new deal Areva signed yesterday has put the French company back in the race for the bulk of mainland contracts.

“China is one of the most important markets and is accelerating its nuclear development,” Ms Lauvergeon said. “So it’s important for us to be part of this competition.”

She said some advanced technology would be transferred to the company’s mainland partners to help them run and maintain the reactors but was reluctant to go into detail about how Areva would protect its proprietary knowledge.

“We are a company that spends a large share of our income on research and development so we have to protect our intellectual property rights,” she said. “At the same time, we’d like to share our expertise with our Chinese partners and someday maybe together we can spread that technology to more international markets.”

Guangdong Nuclear initially planned to build the two reactors in Yangjiang and only this summer decided to move the site to Taishan. Ms Lauvergeon admitted that the decision was made solely by the mainland company.

“It’s a bit late to change the site at this stage and I guess we have to outsource part of our projects to other companies to make sure we can get the job done on schedule,” she said.

She said the two reactors were expected to be installed by 2014, with a generating capacity of 1,600 megawatts each.

In a separate deal, Electricite de France agreed to take a 30 per cent stake in the two reactors Areva will build in Guangdong.

Power Plant Emission Figures

The following statistics were gatherered from both China Light and Power and HK Electric Holdings in reference to the total electricity sent out and the resulting emissions of Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Nitrous Oxides (NOx) and Particulates emitted.

Year 2006


HK Electric Holdings


Daily Amount

Total Electricity Sent Out 2006 (Gwh)



37,223,000 Mwh

101,980.82 MwH

C02 emitted – Kilo Tonnes (Kt)



27,840,000 tonnes

76,273.97 tonnes

S02 emitted (Sulphur Dioxide) Kt



66,000 tonnes

180.82 tonnes

N0x emitted (Nitrous Oxides) Kt



41,800 tonnes

114.52 tonnes

Particulates emitted Kt



2,800 tonnes

7.67 tonnes

2006 emissions by HK Power plants Source:

The following letter was sent by James Middleton on behalf of Clear The Air Hong Kong, to the Director for Environmental Protection:

Dear Sir,

I refer to a letter in another local English language daily last week ‘Naive view of HK pollution’ by Angela Jackson which refers to the administration chief’s intention to match Hong Kong with London’s and New York’s pollution levels by 2005. For this we must now read ‘2010’.

The Hong Kong Government has frequently stated that most of Hong Kong’s pollution emanates from the Pearl River Delta. I think they have been watching too many ‘Yes Prime Minister’ shows and tried to copy the antics. Strange then that on major chinese public holidays when the factories over the border were shut that Hong Kong was still in pea soup air.

If one follows the weblinks on the two local power company websites to audited emission figures provided by the coal burning local polluters it shows that the two between them emitted 76,576 tonnes of pollutants and greenhouse C02 gas into Hong Kong’s air on average every day of the year in 2006 (yes that is three thousand one hundred and ninety tonnes per hour) – then we have the old diesel buses, trucks and PLB roadside pollution and ship emissions in the harbour on top of this number and that’s before anyone smokes tobacco.

Having raised this with the EPD we received the following reply:

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your messages addressed to this department on 15 and 16 November 2007.

Curbing emissions from power plants is one of the top environmental agenda of the HKSAR Government. Under the Air Pollution Control Ordinance, power plants are classified as specified processes requiring licensing control and the use of the most advanced control technology to prevent the emissions and ensure the meeting of the relevant air quality objectives.

Also, from 1997, we have established the policy that all new generating units have to be natural gas-fired plants which emit virtually no sulphur dioxide and particulates, 80% less of nitrogen oxides and about half of the carbon dioxide emissions.

To improve air quality, the Hong Kong SAR Government reached a consensus with the Guangdong Provincial Government in April 2002 to reduce the emission of SO2, NOx, RSP and volatile organic compounds by 40%, 20%, 55% and 55%, respectively by 2010 compared to 1997 levels. Both power companies are required to cap their emissions progressively during their licence renewals to achieve the 2010 emission reduction targets.

Please be assured that the HKSAR will continue its best efforts to ensure the maximum reduction of power companies’ emission for protecting the public from any adverse health effects. On carbon emissions disclosure, you may have noted that the two power companies have provided CO2 emissions data of their power plants in Hong Kong at their corporate websites.

Yours faithfully,

Louis Chan for Director of Environmental Protection

Reduce Pollution by Using Ceiling Fans

The 500lb Gorilla in the room

Are you totally frustrated with the Hong Kong Government’s lack of action on air pollution? Do you think they should be moving faster and taking action now? Do you think they and big business are really doing all they can to reduce energy consumption to reduce the major cause of air pollution in Hong Kong, namely, local power companies burning coal. Do you attribute and put all the blame for pollution on the Hong Kong Government and big business?

Now ask your self this: Have you done all you can to reduce your own electricity consumption (see following
questions)? If the answer is no, then you are part of the pollution problem in Hong Kong.

  1. What percentage of lamps in your home are energy saving Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL)? (100/75/50/25/0 %)
  2. How much energy (watts) does a typical CFL consume? (200/100/50/20/10 watts)
  3. How many of your rooms have aircon units (split, wall etc)? (All/most/some/none)
  4. How much energy does a typical aircon unit consume? (50/100/300/2000 watts)
  5. At what room temperature do you normally set your aircon to? (20/22/25.5/27/30 DegC)
  6. Do you switch the aircon off every time you leave a room? (Always/most/some/never)
  7. What amount of time is your aircon on but no one is in the room? (100/75/50/25/0 %)
  8. How many of your rooms have you fitted ceiling fans? (All/most/some/none)

Some replies

A typical CFL in a room will rated at about 15 watts and this is equivalent to 80 watts for an inefficient incandescent lamp – therefore an excellent incentive to replace incandescents and save energy.

However, a typical aircon unit in a room when running can consume over 1500 watts – 100 times more energy than the Compact Fluorescent Lamp. Hence the aircon unit is the 500lb gorilla in the room that nobody is talking about.

Hint: Leaving an aircon running for 1 hour with no one in the room is equivalent to leaving the light on continuously for 4 days.

It puts things slightly in perspective doesn’t it!

The Problem

In the heat of summer we all need the aircon on – it is almost impossible to live comfortably without it. The question therefore is: how can we avoid or reduce this huge source of energy consumption?

The Potential Answer?

Studies (Florida)* have shown that using ceiling fans can potentially result in electricity savings of 14% per annum
for 1 DegC (approx) increase in the aircon thermostat setting and still provide good comfort levels.


Ceiling Fan Energy Savings

However, there is a catch (isn’t there always). The studys’ conclusion finds that the overall results, as far as energy
savings are concerned, are mixed. This was due to 2 main factors;

a. ceiling fans and aircon left running in unoccupied rooms
b. aircon setpoint not adjusted upwards.

The Possible Solution?

The Florida study also concludes that future work was required and hence the, ‘Spanking the 500lb Gorilla’ Project was
born. The objective of this project is to prove the hypothesis that a typical Hong Kong home’s electricity bill could be reduced by up to 30% with a payback target of approximately two years by using ceiling fans and a Smart Thermostat Controller system.

The Project in Action

Until recently, trying to do this has been expensive and complicated. The following shows the present setup and how
this can be achieved with minimum expense and simplicity using a presence detecting temperature control system.

Smart Thermostat Controller

  • room presence detection – PIR*
  • on/off and 3 speed control for wall panel type ceiling fans
  • on/off aircon control
  • tamper proof set points
  • auto or manual control and or timer controllable
  • standalone +/or network to Smart Metering

*PIR = Passive Infra Red Presence Detector Smart Thermostat system courtesy

Smart Thermostat Controller

The first system was installed mid April07 and to date (01Jul07) three rooms have now been completed. And so it was
with bated breath that the arrival of the power utilities bimonthly bill for May and June07 was anticipated (go figure).
The following shows the results so far ..

Power Utilities Bimonthly Bill

We can see that even with an uncompleted system, the energy savings are quite remarkable and on track for the
target of 30% reduction in overall electrical consumption.

And this has been achieved with no loss of comfort. In fact, the impression and feedback from family members has
been that the reduction in the use of aircon has made for a fresher, more healthy living environment.

The implications of this on Hong Kong’s present pollution (and energy policy) will be profound if many more people
install these systems.

It is beholden of each of us at Clear The Air and other activists to lead the way and to show that the power of change does not lie with government but with the people and that by maximizing our potential to save energy we can all have a direct
effect on the environment.

Mark Hunter MSc

Chair – Energy Committee, Clear The Air.

CLP Exxon Mobil Emission Stats

Posted by David Wheeler & Kevin Ummel on the CARMA (Carbon Monitoring For Action) Blog on the 16th of November 2007:

Transparency is central to CARMA’s objective of reducing carbon emissions through public disclosure. So when the CLP Group in China approached us about our figures for their Castle Peak power plant in Hong Kong, we took notice and responded promptly. Indeed, it is CARMA’s policy to replace our data if high-quality, plant-specific, independently verified emission reports are available.

Although not all of CLP’s verified emission reports were plant specific, the company came forward with some previously unavailable data that allowed us to revise our original information for a handful of the company’s plants. In the case of Castle Peak, our original figure was revised downward. In the case of the Yallourn plant, our original estimate was revised upward. The net effect of these changes and others was to adjust CLP Group’s total present emissions from 75.3 million to 67 58.9 million tons. They also pointed out that we had incorrectly included a very small plant in the database that was no longer operational — we have removed it.

We also made adjustments after receiving verified emissions data from two small, related Polish companies (Dalkia Lodz and Dalkia Poznan). The net effect of those changes was to revise their aggregate CO2 emissions from 6 million to 4.5 million tons. We applaud both companies for bringing their independently verified emission reports to our attention, and, in the case of CLP Group, making available information that had not previously been public. We believe they set an excellent example for the rest of the power sector, and we hope more companies open up their plants to independent audits and subsequent posting on CARMA.

Clear The Air also have the figures from CLP Exxon Mobil – 13.3 million tonnes of CO2 are pumped into the air per year in Hong Kong. This is 36,438.36 tonnes of C02 per day / 1,518.26 tonnes per hour / 25.3 tonnes per minute/ or 422 kgs of C02 per second into the HK and adjoining atmosphere.

That’s only tossing 1,401 loaded 40′ x 26 tonne containers of carbon into the air per day or 58.3 per hour, far faster than they can manage in the biggest port in the world.

From their website they also managed in 2006 from Castle Peak alone :

  • 98.63 tonnes of Sulphur Dioxide a day
  • 61.64 tonnes of Nitrous Oxides a day
  • 3.83 tonnes of particulate soot a a day (they do not specify the extremely harmful PM2.5 that our noses cannot filter)