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Greens laud Lamma wind farm plan as breath of fresh air

The single turbine wind plant on the Lamma Island since 2006.

The single turbine wind plant on the Lamma Island since 2006.

Hongkong Electric will today announce plans to develop an offshore wind farm close to Lamma Island and will forward an environmental impact assessment for public inspection.

The site chosen for the project is southwest of the island.

Last year, the government gave CLP Power the go-ahead for an offshore wind farm, which may become the largest in Asia. The CLP project, off the Ninepin Islands near Sai Kung, may produce about 1 percent of the territory’s electricity.

Greenpeace senior campaigner Gloria Chang Wan-ki said she is looking forward to receiving details of the Hongkong Electric project. “Greenpeace thinks renewable energy is definitely one way for us to reduce our dependence on fossil fuel and to reduce our carbon footprint. It is a good way to go in combating climate change,” Chang said.

She said it is “a good initiative” for both power companies to plan for wind farms.

However, the government still has not gone far enough to support renewable energy.

“On one hand we have a 1-2 percent renewable target by 2012, a voluntary target which is not legally binding to power companies,” she said.

On the other, electricity pricing also puts fossil fuel costs “unreasonably low,” making the market unfavorable to renewable energy.

She does not think Lamma residents will oppose the wind farm because Hongkong Electric has had a single turbine wind plant on the island since 2006.

“Based on the feedback from the single wind turbine on Lamma, residents there, I think, will welcome another project in their own backyard.”

But Chang said although her group supports wind energy in principle, “we need to take a careful look at the details and the environmental impact assessment.”

She added: “This project is much bigger than a single turbine, so we need to look at other environmental impacts, for example, that on the seabed, scenery and noise.”

Source: HK Standard

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